Throughout the summer, Nole Nation will be counting down the 40 players we're projecting to make the biggest impact on the Seminoles' 2013 season, taking into consideration everything from experience to potential to their spot on the current depth chart.
Next up: No. 15 Nick Waisome
What he's done: When three-year starter Greg Reid was dismissed from the team just before the start of fall camp last year, many predicted doom for the secondary. Filling the bulk of the void was the sophomore Waisome, little tested as a freshman and not nearly as highly-regarded as Reid. As it turned out, he was more than up to the task. Waisome turned in a stellar 2012 campaign, starting all 14 games and making 21 tackles, recording eight passes defended and helped secure a pass defense that ranked as the best in the country. While Waisome had ample highlights in 2012, none loomed larger than his shut-down performance against Clemson's Sammy Watkins that culminated with a fourth-quarter interception.
Where he's at: All that sophomore success should've set up Waisome to blossom into a household name in 2013, but that's not been the case thus far. It was talented backup Ronald Darby who got the bulk of the postseason love, earning freshman All-America honors, and now that Lamarcus Joyner has switched from safety to corner, there appears a logjam at the position with Waisome potentially the odd man out. The reality, however, is that new DC Jeremy Pruitt has made no proclamations about who will start, and with FSU using plenty of nickel and dime sets, there's no reason Waisome shouldn't see as many -- and perhaps more -- snaps than he got last season.
What's to come: For whatever reason, Waisome seems to be the member of Florida State's secondary who flies beneath the radar, regardless of his talents. He plays hard, has developed quickly, has tested his mettle and talks a good game -- and yet, he's situated behind Joyner, Darby, Terrence Brooks, Karlos Williams and potentially even incoming freshman Jalen Ramsey in terms of attention from fans. Of course, that means little when it comes to what happens on the field, and there, Waisome has proven he's ready. FSU's secondary figures to be its biggest strength on defense this year, and Waisome is at the center of that, regardless of how the roles are divvied up.