June 17, 2014 - by
Instant analysis: Who replaces Greg Reid? – Florida State University

Instant analysis: Who replaces Greg Reid? – Florida State University


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Instant analysis: Who replaces Greg Reid?

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Wednesday's announcement that Greg Reid has been dismissed from the football program for a violation of team rules means Florida State will open fall camp Monday with not one but two starting jobs up for grabs.

And with No. 1 positions on the depth chart at boundary cornerback and punt returner now in need of new personnel, competition -- particularly amongst FSU's young skill players -- will be ratcheted up an extra notch when the pads are put on for the team's first full practice session Aug. 11.

So who are the likely candidates to earn Reid's jobs in time for the Sept. 1 opener against Murray State? Let's take a look:


Sophomore Nick Waisome ended spring practices with his name penciled in as Reid's backup and now could potentially begin his second fall camp at FSU as the team's new starter at boundary cornerback. 

Waisome was a highly touted recruit coming out of South Lake High School in Groveland, Fla. before enrolling early in the spring of 2011. As a freshman last year he played primarily on special teams in 11 games but did see a few snaps on defense.

Like Reid, Waisome isn't particularly big (he measures 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds) but he has added 15 pounds to his frame since enrolling at FSU and has the speed and agility necessary to play the position effectively.

Even though he has yet to play a college game after redshirting last season and played field cornerback during his first spring at FSU, Keelin Smith could be a name to watch in the boundary cornerback competition.

Smith was thrown into the first-team fire earlier this year as he took starter's repetitions at cornerback because star defender Xavier Rhodes missed all of spring practices while rehabilitating an injury he sustained in the Champs Sports Bowl. 

Despite his inexperience, Smith had a strong enough spring to put him comfortably into the backup role behind Rhodes. Wednesday's news could possibly result in him lining up alongside Rhodes instead of behind him.

As Lamarcus Joyner's backup at safety, sophomore Tyler Hunter could also be in the mix. Hunter not only worked at safety during the spring but also practiced as Florida State's third cornerback in nickelback sets -- the same role that Mike Harris perfected over the past two seasons.

As a freshman last year, Hunter played in 11 games on special teams.

The competition certainly won't be limited to returning players as the Seminoles benefit from a recruiting class that features two rookie cornerbacks with a lot of potential in Ronald Darby and Colin Blake.

Darby was good enough in high school that 247Sports.com ranked him the county's No. 1 prep cornerback for the 2012 class. He is fast enough that he will compete for FSU's track & field program as well. Blake boasts impressive size for a cornerback at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds.

One last name that shouldn't be overlooked is Terrence Brooks. Even though he is FSU's new starter at safety alongside Joyner, Brooks spent the first two years of his career as a reserve cornerback before taking over his new job at safety this spring.

Brooks will likely still enter fall still in his spot at safety but defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Mark Stoops at least has him and his experience as a fall-back option in the event that one of the team's youngsters doesn't earn the starting boundary cornerback job.

The fact that Stoops cross trains his defensive backs and recruits players that can play multiple positions helps ease the blow of Reid's loss on defense.


For as well as Reid played at spurts at cornerback during his career at FSU, it was his work as a return man that made him a nationally recognized name in college football.

Reid would have entered his senior season just 313 yards away from tying Deion Sanders' FSU record for career punt return yardage (1,429). A preseason All-ACC selection as a specialist entering this season, he was also just 180 yards away from setting the new league record for punt-return yardage. 

Reid was a special-teams game changer on special teams and whoever does step into that role has big Nikes to fill.

Standout wide receiver Rashad Greene led FSU in catches, yards and receiving touchdowns during his breakout rookie campaign last year but he was also the only other player on the roster to field a punt other than Reid. In 2010, Reid fielded 32 of the team's 33 total punt returns and in 2009 he had 21 of the team's 23 total returns.

In his three-year career, Reid was responsible for fielding 90 of FSU's 96 total punt returns.

If it isn't Greene fielding those punts this year, than it could potentially be a host of other skill players. 

Early enrollee running back Mario Pender is known for his speed and he worked in to the kick-return rotation during spring practices. Could a role on punt returns be in his future? Wide receivers Kenny Shaw and Christian Greene as well as Hunter could also be options.

Karlos Williams showed flashes of touchdown-generating potential as a kick returner last season and could be a candidate for punt-returning duties. Two-sport star Marvin Bracy is one of the fastest high school prospects ever signed by the 'Noles and his track speed could be an asset on special teams. The same is true for Darby.

The coaches, of course, are the only ones that know exactly how they'll replace Reid but finding his replacement is a big story line for the championship-hopeful Seminoles. 

We won't have to wait long to learn some answers with camp getting started next week.

Seminoles.com will be there every step of the way providing fans with videos, player and coach comments, photos, analysis and much more to go along with the FSU Sports Information Department's official practice reports so stay tuned to the website daily.

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