Florida State lost their two starting cornerbacks from the 2014 season to the NFL. Star defensive back Jalen Ramsey moved over to take one of the starting spots and Junior Marquez White took over the other. Ramsey is considered one of the top defenisve backs in the country and was expected to make the transition easily. White, on the other hand, was a much bigger question mark heading into the season. White knew that teams were going to challenge him to start the year, and that he was more than ready for it.
"I'm really looking forward to it," White said. "I already told Jalen that he was going to be the reason I catch like eight or nine picks this year hopefully. They're going to try and stay away from him. He really influences me a lot. Just the way he comes to practice every day. I'm looking to play just as good as him."
Through the first two games of the season teams have targeted his side a lot in both the passing game and the running game. So far he's stepped up and excelled at both. White has five tackles, two tackles for loss, one interception, and one pass breakup already this season. Him stepping up and being able to stop the run has impressed head coach Jimbo Fisher.
"Doing a real good job," Fisher said. "Letting people know because he's going to get tested over there. What I like too, the physicality. Beating blocks and making tackles, along with playing the ball down the field. I always said this, Marquez is an extremely, extremely talented guy. He's never been a solo football guy until now. He's always been a basketball, football, back and forth, even the first year here. Getting him out there and really learning what his potential is is fun."
White came up with the first interception for the Seminoles against USF. What made that interception even more important was that it was in the endzone. From the moment that the South Florida offense broke the huddle, White knew the ball was going to come his way.
"I knew it was coming my way," White said. "They put 85 in. He looked kind of tall. I knew it was coming my way. I knew I would have a chance to make the play on the ball."
Coach Fisher was really pleased with the instincts that White showed on the play.
"They put a big guy out here, they don't put a big guy out here to stand out there," Fisher said. "Just your instincts for the game. He played it really well. It was a good play."
With White playing both the run and the pass as well as he is that will give Jalen Ramsey more opportunities to be challenged. Ramsey has been thrown at a limited nuber of times, but already has four pass breakups on the season. At this point it's a pick your poision type of choice for the offense according to White.
"They are going to have to pick their poison with the whole secondary," White said. "With the whole defense."
If White continues to play as well as he has this Florida State defense has the chance to be exceptional.