Florida State lost both starting cornerbacks from last years team when Ronald Darby and PJ Williams both elected to enter the NFL Draft early. One of those starting spots went to All-American Jalen Ramsey, who has moved over from the star position. Marquez White took over the other starting spot during the spring, and he hasn't relinquished it during fall camp.
White, 6-foot, 184-pounds, is extremely athletic, but after dedicating his time solely to football during the off season, he's become a much better football player.
“He came a long way just from the past couple of years," senior defensive back Tyler Hunter said. "Just from him lifting weights and gaining weight and just him being more of a football player than just an athlete. He’s getting the mental part of the game down and that’s really helping him. It’s slowing the game down for him.”
It is very clear that Hunter expects White to have a big season, putting White in the same conversation as Ramsey.
“It’s huge," Hunter said. "We know what we’re going to get from Jalen and just having Marquez on the other side. We know what we’re going to get from him. So we really can take away the offense’s top two passing options. That’s huge.”
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher has been pleased with the way he's played over the last few weeks of practice.
"He had a couple tough days, but he's had a bunch of really good days early," Fisher said. "Lately he's been playing really good football. Really good football."
According to Hunter, White has exceptional instincts at the position and that allows him to make more plays on the football.
"Just his athleticism and instincts. Just the way he plays the ball. Route recognition. When guys release certain ways he kind of has a feel for what kind of routes they’re going to run. He really runs the routes for guys sometimes."
White has not only found his way into the starting role at cornerback he is also the starting punt returner. Coach Fisher couldn't say enough good things about his punt returning ability.
"Phenomenal ball skills," Fisher said. "Got wiggle. Can run. Catches the ball. First and foremost as a punt returner you've got to receive the ball. Got tremendous hands. Judges the ball tremendously well. Gets to all the punts. Nothing hits the ground on him either."
Florida State needed someone to step up and take the spot opposite of Ramsey, but Marquez White has done significantly more than that. With all the praise that his fellow players and coach Fisher have heaped upon him he has a lot to live up too. Let's see if he can translate it to the field on Saturdays.