Coming out of Butler Community College Toddrick Verdell was a JUCO All-American. The former safety made the permanent move to linebacker last year after getting moved back and forth from safety to his spot outside. After going through the learning process at his new position Verdell feels like he is ready to go next fall.
"My whole career I played either safety or wide receiver. When I came here (to FSU) I wasn't used to playing linebacker. I never got a chance to get comfortable because they kept moving me back and forth from one position to the other. But last year I finally got into the groove of things and was beginning to play well. I think I found my home at Will linebacker and going into the fall I am penciled in as the starter there. I like that because I get a chance to get into one-on-one coverage with running backs and tight ends. That is what I like to do the most."
Going into the Miami game Toddrick was playing very well. He was pushing for major minutes and was showing just how much of an asset he could be for the team. After an electrifying interception return for a touchdown, Verdell went down with the injury that cost him the rest of his junior season.
"Right now I am 85% healthy. I can run full speed and I have been working very hard with the director of training. My foot got tangled up with another player and I ruptured a ligament in my foot. I also did some damage to my ankle. I had surgery and it went well. On the 15th I will be cleared to go and I am excited to go."
"It bothered me that I had to miss the rest of the season after the injury. Going into that game I had been doing well in practice and I had just started showing what I could do in the games. That game proved to me that I could get it done here at FSU. I had to sit and watch my teammates struggle a bit in the Florida and Kentucky games. But sitting was a learning process for me. I got the chance to coach up the younger guys behind me and get them ready to play. I was disappointed but now I am focused on coming back stronger and healthy."
The injury, as well as some other issues, caused Verdell to miss the spring. He says that the time he missed allotted him the time to get well, as well as work with the younger guys.
"Even though I didn't get to participate in spring I was out there almost everyday watching what was going on. I was out there watching my teammates and working with the younger guys like Nigel (Bradham) and Vince (Williams). I see a lot of promise out there with those guys, and the older guys look like they are ready to go. The freshmen are physical and run very well."
Summer workouts have started at FSU and Verdell is ready to go. He has been doing a lot of cardio and working on getting ready for what is the preparation for his last season at FSU.
"I've been doing a lot of cardio and running in the pool. It's helped me get better and it has really helped me a lot. My strength has gotten better. I am at 225 pounds right now but I want to continue to get better. I graduate in December so it looks like things are starting to fall back into place for me."
Sitting back and watching has gotten Verdell excited for his season year. He says this year he plans on going out with a bang, and he thinks that the Seminoles will have a very successful season.
"I feel like I have to be conditioned and ready to go this year. With the early lack of depth those first 3 games we all have to be ready to go. We have the young guys who can come in and step up, so it isn't going to be too much of a concern for me. I am going to go into fall like I don't have a position because I want to earn my spot."
"Being that this is my last year at FSU, I am going to leave everything out there on table. I want to win the ACC and be a guy who guys out there and makes plays for my team. The whole team is hungrier than I have seen, and we are determined to get this thing where it needs to be. We are going to play some exciting football and be a fun team to watch. Offensively, the guys are getting it down. On defense, we are going to come in ready to make it happen and we'll be a lot better."
Verdell showed last year that he is the best linebacker on the roster in coverage. With the physical nature Toddrick brings to the field, it is very possible that he will have a big-time break out season in the fall. The tools are there, and he is now healthy and has the system down pat. It seems like everything is finally set for Toddrick to show the promise he had coming in and in the Miami game last year. Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with Toddrick as we track his senior season for FSU.