Verdell steps up

Florida State was shorthanded during Saturday night's game against Western Carolina and needed some players to step up. One of those players that really stood out for the Florida State defense was Toddrick Verdell. Verdell lead the team with 8 tackles and made several big plays.

With the absence of Dekoda Watson, middle linebacker Derek Nicholson needed some help at the linebacker position; and Toddrick Verdell was there to give it to him. Verdell was there to help set the tone from the first possession laying a big hit to help end the Catamounts first drive. Verdell then went on to lead the team in tackles with eight. Although he had a stand out game, he was more proud of what the team accomplished.

"I had a pretty good game personally," Verdell said. "I had a sack and a few tackles but overall as a defense, we played extremely well tonight."

The fact that Verdell is playing with the team this season is great for ‘Nole fans as he wasn't even enrolled at Florida State University this spring forcing him to miss some valuable practice time. He had some academic issues that forced him to work extra hard to get back on the field for the ‘Noles'.

"It's a blessing to be back with the team," the safety converted linebacker said. "When things like that happen, you just have to pray and that's what I did and everything took care of itself."

Shutting a team out in college football today is a rarity, even when it is a FCS school traveling to play a FBS team. Western Carolina got inside Florida State territory a few times but the FSU defense manned up to the challenge and made sure they blanked the Catamounts.

"From a defensive standard, it doesn't matter if it's Western Carolina or a team like Florida. Anytime we can hold them when they get close and finish with a shutout, it's a good game." Verdell said.

Although the team did pitch a shut out, there is still plenty of room for improvement. The team can be happy about their performance but must work out the rest of the kinks this weekend before Wake Forest comes to town September 20.

"We did a good job, but there are still a few things we can watch film on and study so we are even better prepared next week and following weeks in the future."

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