Abandoned allegiance

CLEMSON - While growing up in Saint Augustine, Fla., Rashard Hall was a Florida State fan.

But the Seminoles never offered the No. 60 safety in the class of 2008. And he hasn't forgotten.

"I love playing these guys. I grew up a Florida State fan, to be honest, so it's always great to play these guys, more fun than anything," he said.

Along with Clemson, Maryland, South Carolina, West Virginia, Louisville and South Florida were the main schools Hall considered during his prep career at St. Augustine High School.

The lack of interest from Florida State once served as a motivational tool for Hall.

"I always think about that, but it's not as much now. It's just business now. Early in my career -- yeah, it was kind of a sore spot for me, I guess," he said.

Since Hall's arrival in 2008, Clemson is 2-2 against Florida State. With him on the field against the Seminoles, the Tigers are 2-1.

Hall has started in all three of his appearances against Florida State. He's played 148 snaps, recorded 12 tackles and one interception.

The senior hopes to improve his personal record against the Seminoles to 3-2.

"We lost on a 55-yard field goal the last time we were down there," Hall said. "Just like any away game, great teams have to win on the road. To be a great team, that's what we're going to have to do."

In place of an injured Christian Ponder, E.J. Manuel started for Florida State in the Seminoles' 16-13 win in Doak Campbell Stadium two years ago.

Manuel was sidelined in 2011 when Clemson took care of business in Death Valley with a 35-30 win.

So far this season, Manuel is first among ACC quarterbacks with a pass efficiency rating of 178.1. He's completed 42 of 59 passes for 525 yards with six touchdowns and one interception.

"He's a great quarterback, a great leader, from what I'm seeing on film. He runs his offense well," Hall said.

The Florida State wide receivers also impress him.

"They have great athletes at receiver, fast guys, quick guys, guys that can catch the ball," he said. "That's going to be a good challenge, also."

He added, "As a group, they're a good receiving corps."

Though Hall's impressed with the quality of players at Florida State, he minimized the magnitude of Saturday night's game.

He acknowledged that it's a big game, but not for the reasons just about everyone else believes.

"It's the biggest game of the season, because it's the next game," he said. "That kind of mentality is just how I think now, personally."

With just 11 seniors on the roster, Clemson is likely to need that calming influence inside what's certain to be a rowdy Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday night.

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