When Peter Warrick, the electrifying wideout who had led Florida
State to last season's national championship game, stepped to a
podium on campus to announce his draft intentions a few days
later, he wasn't sure what he was going to say. "At the last
second I went with my heart," Warrick says. He stunned the crowd
of reporters, to say nothing of the NFL scouts who had listed
him as a top 10 pick in the draft, when he said he would return
to Tallahassee for his senior season. Warrick's friends called
him crazy for turning down millions, and he had to change his
phone number three times to avoid agents. Last month he had a
physical exam and filled out a mountain of forms to get a $3
million insurance policy to protect himself in case of a
Perhaps the only people outside Tallahassee who were pleased
with Warrick's decision were the NFL's defensive coordinators.
As a junior the 6-foot, 190-pound Warrick averaged 20.2 yards
per catch and 102.7 yards receiving per game. He has a 37-inch
vertical leap and displays the kind of quickness that has scouts
using terms like "unstoppable...acrobatic...an Andre Rison with
speed...incredible...the Number 1 guy in the whole draft at this
"When Pete goes out there, it reminds me of when Deion [Sanders]
played for us," says Seminoles receivers coach Jeff Bowden. "You
can feel the electricity in the crowd change. I compare Pete to
Mark McGwire. He's not going to hit a home run every time, but
the threat is always there."
Warrick definitely whiffed in the Fiesta Bowl. He was held to
one catch for seven yards, and during the game he was seen
throwing a temper tantrum on the sideline. Perhaps he wasn't
ready for the NFL after all. "The best thing about another year
in college is that it will help me mature," says Warrick. "I've
waited my whole life to play in the pros. I can wait another six
months. I'm happy with my decision."
COLOR PHOTO: BRIAN SMITH IDEAL NFL TEAM The 49ers will need a new Jerry Rice if they want to play the same offense in the 21st century.