- David M. Hale, College football
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Nick Waisome knows he'll be an inviting target this season.
On the opposite side is Xavier Rhodes, a future first-round pick in the NFL. Waisome, meanwhile, has made exactly one tackle in his college career.
So when the games begin Saturday, odds are, teams will be throwing Waisome's direction, and he's not shying away from the challenge.
"Bring it on," he said.
It's safe to say Florida State's sophomore cornerback, who edged out freshman Ronald Darby for the chance to replace the departed Greg Reid in the starting lineup, won't be lacking in confidence this season.
Waisome is an exceptional athlete, quick and instinctive, with a pedigree that includes everything from basketball to tennis to wake boarding.
Asked if he excelled at any of those sports, Waisome didn't pull punches.
"I'm pretty decent at everything I do," he said.
How quickly he'll adjust to a far bigger role in Florida State's veteran secondary, however, remains to be seen.
It was Darby who got the bulk of the hype during fall practice, as coaches and teammates raved about his potential, his speed and his football acumen. Waisome, meanwhile, seemed to toil in the shadows. While Darby was described as electric, Waisome earned tepid platitudes like, "He's working hard."
But when the depth chart finally came out Monday, it was Waisome's name at the top, and he said he's made significant strides in preparing for the starting job.
"I was real weak in double moves and stuff like that, but I feel like my eyes have gotten a lot better," Waisome said. "Quarterback to receiver, then securing myself to make a play on the ball. I got a lot better at that."
For all of his confidence, Waisome said playing corner at the college level has opened his eyes to the challenges of playing against receivers who are every bit as talented as he is.
That's been an adjustment, but it hasn't been intimidating.
Nor has he been worried about the competition with Darby, which Waisome sees as a challenge to get better.
"You can't take it as a threat," Waisome said. "If he beats me out, he beats me out, that's what it is. If I'm ahead I'm still going to tell him what it is. I'm not scared or anything about him coming in and playing."
Jimbo Fisher said Darby will get some early playing time, too, but for now it's Waisome's job to lose. And with pass-happy Murray State first on the docket, he's excited to put his confidence and ability to the test.
"I'm going to put my skills to the test this first week," Waisome said. "I'm ready for any shot they're trying to take at me."
Nick Waisome knows he'll be an inviting target this season.On the opposite side is Xavier Rhodes, a future first-round pick in the NFL. Waisome, meanwhile, has made exactly one tackle in his college career.