Why Florida State's Most Popular Football Player Is Sitting This One Out
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Michelle Roque never heard back from Jimbo Fisher, so Florida State's most celebrated football player will be watching No. 9 Florida State play No. 18 Houston in the Chick Fil-A Peach Bowl from home on Thursday.
Fisher largely ignores social media, so he probably missed Roque's offer and what much of Florida State was buzzing about earlier this month: her 19-play highlight reel that includes 38 avoided "tackles" -- 13 on one play -- 11 touchdowns, seven completions, one reception, one interception, one diving stop on a male quarterback and an all-purpose yards total that would challenge Christian McCaffrey.
"I even tweeted Jimbo," Roque said. She hoped he would consider her at quarterback.
Roque, the Florida State flag football star and a member of Delta Gamma, melted social media with her complete disregard for the emotional and physical well-being of rival sororities. A video of her sending players tumbling as they grasped at air went viral last fall, but that was merely serving as the accelerant for a sequel that ignited the internet -- a full-length highlight tape replete with flailing bodies, slow-motion jukes and an 808 drum beat.
When I saw her film I was like, 'Oh my god.' She's doing people like she's Barry Sanders.Demarcus Walker
She's the most popular student on Florida State's campus -- as confirmed by the page views, worship from adoring strangers, autograph requests, nods from NFL players and Twitter marriage proposals.
Count Seminoles players among those agog.
"She got moves, for real," safety Lamarcus Brutus said.
Florida State's star running back, Dalvin Cook, who finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting, has a YouTube highlight that has garnered 126,000 views in eight months. Roque's senior video exceeded 1.5 million views in two weeks.
Cook, who rushed for 1,658 yards this season, wouldn't mind talking with Roque to exchange some trade secrets.
"She's good in my eyes," Cook said. "I could teach her a little something. I can put her in camp whenever she's ready, but she's good and she probably could teach me something."
Junior defensive end Demarcus Walker spent the season curtailing opposing quarterbacks, finishing with 10.5 sacks. Walker has watched film on a number of dual-threat quarterbacks this season, but Roque's film is among the best he has seen.
"When I saw her film I was like, 'Oh my god,'" Walker said. "She's doing people like she's Barry Sanders."
Nicknamed "Reggie Bush Roque" and "Michelle Vick," Roque confidently agrees with Brutus, Cook and Walker that she would have a role in Florida State's offense if college football dropped to a flag football model. She won first place among women -- and was only a few points behind the male winner -- at a Florida State football combine earlier this year and led her Delta Gamma sorority squad to three straight championships. She also doubles as the quarterback of a co-ed flag football team on campus. During high school, she played for a state championship in girls' flag football. An all-county soccer player in South Florida, her high school's football coach wanted her to kick field goals but her mom wouldn't allow her to join the team.
Roque hopes young girls who see her videos are motivated to pursue their goals with as much gusto.
The idea for a senior-season highlight video began at the beginning of the semester when a friend approached her about filming games. The video, released in early December, has taken her celebrity to new heights.
"Since fourth grade I've been practicing my autograph," Roque said. "It's like a dream come true, kind of."
The senior, whose other passion is writing music (she notes that she already has 12 songs about an ex-boyfriend), is pursuing degrees in both finance and accounting and is unsure about pursuing football professionally (there are a few leagues for women). Her exploits on the field will live on, though, thanks to the viral videos. You can even catch her watching her original 2014 highlights now and again.
"Five girls are on the floor," Roque said of that 2014 clip. "It always cracks me up."