Waisome Passes First Test

Florida State's secondary excelled in its first three games against inferior competition, but on Saturday faced its first true test against Clemson's up-tempo spread offense and speedy wide receivers. The Seminoles' have mixed bag of veteran guys as well as freshmen and sophomores in the secondary, which led many to label them as a potential weak link in the defense.

After the dismissal of cornerback Greg Reid just before fall camp, FSU had no choice but to throw some young guys in the fire and see how they fared.

FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops named sophomore cornerback Nick Waisome the starter heading into the season opener against Murray State, but it was clear that they would all get their shot.

Freshman Ronald Darby and sophomore Tyler Hunter also saw their share of time at cornerback through the first three games, but Stoops decided to stick with Waisome as the starter with Clemson coming to town who, oh-by-the-way, gave Stoops' defense fits just a year ago.

In 2011, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for 344 yards and three touchdowns and freshman wide receiver Sammy Watkins had his coming out party as he caught seven passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns and the Tigers' won 35-30.

Waisome did not play in that game, but clearly remembered it and was now faced with the daunting task of trying to slow down the AP All-American Sammy Watkins.

Fast forward to now, three days removed from a big win over Clemson and it is clear that Stoops instincts were right on point.

Waisome certainly held his own against Watkins limiting him to just five catches for 26 yards. Watkins biggest play actually came when he threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to Andre Ellington giving the Tigers' a 28-14 lead.

After FSU fought back to get its first lead of the night, Waisome made the biggest play of his young career and sealed the deal for FSU when he read Boyd's eyes, jumped the route, and made the first interception of his young career.

FSU coaches and players often live by the motto of never making any moment bigger than it actually is, and treating it like such.

Waisome did that Saturday, treating Watkins like any other receiver he's faced, even though he is an All-American – something that not even head coach Jimbo Fisher could overlook after the fact. "It's huge," Fisher said. "When you play against the caliber of guy you just played against, and he got you, but you got him too, that lets you know you can play. I think it will be a big boost, and he will build off it".


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