PPR: Defensive Back

Signing day is now in the rear view mirror and the next big event for Florida State football fans is the Spring game. NoleDigest takes a look at the defensive back personnel individually, as a unit, and a look to the future.


Lamarcus Joyner

Joyner's career is about to come full circle. He was Florida State's 4th cornerback as a freshmen (behind Greg Reid, Xavier Rhodes, and Mike Harris) before moving to Safety where he has started for two years. It appears as if he is headed back to corner as a senior and the view is that this will only help his draft stock.

We will have to wait and see exactly how he is used, certainly with his hitting ability he might log some snaps as an inside nickel type. Joyner can flat out run and is one of the most experienced DBs in the country.

Terrence Brooks

Brooks started as a junior at Safety and was rock solid in the back half of the field. He has made some big plays in his career at FSU and while FSU has not played a "free" and "strong' Safety, Brooks is ideally suited to play in space down the field.

This is his money year and there is every reason to believe that he has a big senior season, potentially an All-ACC type of year.

Justin Bright and Gerald Demps

Bright and Demps have not made an impact at FSU and it remains to be seen if they are brought back for their 5th seasons.


Karlos Williams

Karlos has been lightly used on the defensive side of the ball during his first two years, but that is expected to change in year three with Joyner sliding to CB. There is not a more talented player on the roster than Williams and the sky is literally the limit for this young man.

Karlos has shown that he is an excellent kickoff returner and possesses every attribute to be an ALL-AMERICAN. He needs to play to his talent and we expect that to happen starting this Spring.

Tyler Hunter

Hunter settled into the nickel role as a sophomore and he still could end up at either corner or safety in 2013. He is very likely to be in the mix, but will need a strong Spring in front of the new coaches to cement his role on this team.

He has excellent size in the nickel role and he could be Karlos's stiffest competition at safety.

Nick Waisome

When Reid was suspended before the 2012 season it opened the door for Waisome to grab those rep's. It was an up and down season for Waisome and he appears to be facing stiffer competition to hold onto the job in 2013.

He is a 'pure corner' with excellent hips and coverage ability. He has also done the work in the weight room and is much stronger than when he arrived. He is yet another potential nickel candidate where we feel he could be better than Harris was (who was excellent at FSU).

Keelin Smith

Many fans feel that Keelin is the wildcard in the Spring. At 6'3 he has ideal size at the cornerback spot and he should enter Spring healthy and ready to compete for playing time.

Can he provide what Rhodes did? He can be that big corner that can match-up with the size at wide receiver that is prevalent in today's game.

Lamarcus Brutus

It has been quiet around Brutus since has arrived on campus and it is very un-clear exactly where he stands entering this Spring.


Ronald Darby

Darby played a ton as a true freshmen and earned many accolades at the end of the season. Like Waisome he is a pure corner, but Darby brings elite speed to the equation as well. He is a competitor and one of the players on the roster with the brightest future.

Barring injury it is hard to imagine Darby not playing a big role for this team in 2013.

P.J. Williams

Williams was excellent on special teams as a freshmen and there is plenty of buzz surrounding him at this time. He is capable of playing corner or safety and we think he pushes hard for playing time. Major playing time may still be a year away, but we expect to see of Williams in 2013.

Colin Blake

Blake red-shirted last year and it figures to be an uphill battle to grab a starting spot at safety in 2013. A year from today he should be firmly in the mix for a starting spot.

Jalen Ramsey

Ramsey was one of the most coveted recruits in the country and it would surprise no one if he had a similar season to Darby a year ago---perhaps even better. This is an elite talent with every tool. Ramsey has All-American potential.

Marquez White

The reviews on White as a prospect ran the gamut from 'stud' to 'needs work at DB'. It is still unclear whether he is a CB or S. He figures to need a year to get his feet wet.

Nate Andrews

Andrews carries the reputation of being a 'player'. An 'athlete'. We are always fascinated with these types as they often surprise. He is yet another young player that could end up at CB or S.


There is a ton of talent here. A ton. With Joyner, Brooks, Hunter, Waisome, and Darby returning with experience there is also great hope that this unit can be one of the best in the country. Things are different now with new defensive coaches and DC so we will have to sit back and see how it plays out, but there are a ton of options and bodies.

Karlos, P.J., Jalen, and Keelin are players that figure to be in prime position to make a run at playing time. In fact, Karlos probably should be listed with the first group.

This unit is loaded.


FSU figures to bring in 3-4 more DBs this year and it is loaded both in Florida and across the Southeast. In terms of 'needs' it will be interesting to see where Andrews, Blake, PJ, White, and Hunter end up. Until then look for the staff to target size at this position.

If Ramsey is as good as hoped, CB becomes much less of a need in 2014.

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