Spring Stock Report: Cornerback

Now that spring drills are in the rearview mirror for Florida State and the annual Garnet and Gold Game has been played, it's time to analyze the Seminoles position by position. Today? Cornerback.

Projected Starters: Greg Reid, Xavier Rhodes
Notable Backups: Keelin Smith, Nick Waisome, Ronald Darby, Colin Blake

The Skinny: Both Reid and Rhodes could have left a year early for the NFL Draft, but since Reid battled ineffectiveness at times last season and Rhodes suffered through a handful of injuries for the majority of 2011, they returned for their senior and junior campaigns, respectively. While Rhodes missed spring practice due to the knee injury he sustained in the bowl win over Notre Dame back in December, Reid took on more of a leadership role and earned a lot of praise from Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher in the process. Although technically listed as a safety, Tyler Hunter is the leading candidate to be the No. 3 corner when defensive coordinator Mark Stoops calls for the nickel package -- Waisome is probably the dime back in six-DB looks.

Stock Up: Not a lot went right for Reid this past year, as he was suspended for one game early, gave up a lot of big plays upon his reinstatement, didn't come up with a single interception until the regular-season finale and had a well-publicized encounter with the law, even if those charges were ultiimately dropped. A lot of FSU supporters figured the 5-8, 185-pounder would bail on school and head to the pros, but instead he came back to finish what he started and should wrap up his Seminoles career as the program's career leader in punt-return yardage.

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Stock Flat: A walking-and-talking prototype for the cornerback spot at 6-2 and 209 pounds, Rhodes was unable to answer his breakout redshirt freshman campaign of 2010 because he was never truly healthy last season, and now he's missed an entire spring before what will most likely be his final year in Garnet and Gold. The 'Noles need the Miami native to get back to his old form due to Mike Harris now being a Jacksonville Jaguar and Smith and Waisome having basically no game experience between them.

Stock Down: In 2011, when Reid and Rhodes were sidelined with minor injuries, Stoops didn't have enough confidence in Waisome to put him in the lineup and either moved safety Lamarcus Joyner to corner or scrapped his nickel package altogether. Waisome may or may not be the first substitute off the bench if something happens to Reid or Rhodes again, and he's apparently way behind Hunter in the competition at nickel.

Fall Wish List: More interceptions for Reid and Rhodes, Hunter proves to be a bigger and stronger Harris in the slot and Smith and Waisome both see their fair share of garbage-time snaps.

Spring Stock Reports: QB  |  RB  |  WR  |  TE  |  OL  |  DT  |  DE  |  LB  |  CB  |  S

John Crist is the editor-in-chief of NoleDigest.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

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