The Florida State defensive unit has been the strongest part of the Florida State football team this season. The unit currently ranks third in the nation in total defense and is still looking for better results.
A pleasant surprise so far has been how well two back up cornerbacks have been playing. With Patrick Robinson suspended, Korey Mangum was called in to take his spot for the first few games and has not disappointed.
"We're winning and that's the main thing," Mangum said. "I'm in there trying to make as many plays as I can so hopefully I can keep it up."
Last season, Mangum was deep on the bench for Florida State and was pretty much an unknown on the roster. During the spring, Mangum began to make plays and has kept up his level of play throughout spring and into the season so far.
"I did a lot of extra stuff with the coaches and everything and I've just been working really hard and it's really starting to pay off."
"I feel a whole lot more confident this year than I did last year," Jenije said. "My teammates are really helping me, there's a whole lot more energy this year overall on the team than there was last year and we can definitely feel a different vibe on the team."
For Jenije, he is also crediting his improvement on the field to hard work during practice.
"Everything starts with practice. I had to start practicing better. That's where I started building my confidence up and I think it's showing. That went over to the games and I'm just really feeling good out there now."
With a defense with a lot of depth, it is difficult to earn playing time, as Jenije found out last season. With all of the talent at every position, players know they must perform or else they won't play much on Saturdays.
"Competition brings out the best in people. I see everyone playing well on the defense and it really makes you want to step up and play better. If I don't, I probably wouldn't even see the field."
Both Mangum and Jenije have played a vital role in the cornerback rotation for FSU this season and will look to continue to improve so they can keep up their high level of play.
During his weekly press conference on Monday, defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews had nothing but good things to say about the two young defensive backs.
"In spring practice if you would have said that Korey Mangum and Ochuko Jenije would have to play as much as they are playing, and play at the level, you would have been a little more concerned than you are now. Those are two, as far as defensive backs, that have really come a long way, and are playing at a pretty high level right now. We think that they will keep getting better too."