Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Xavier Rhodes has come a long way from being beaten badly by Bert Reed on the Seminole practice field. He and the 'Noles travel to Miami this week.
Florida State's Xavier Rhodes may be one of the best cornerbacks in the country, but he wasn't always enamored with the position. Rhodes, originally recruited as a receiver, was moved to cornerback during his freshman year. He reflected on the disappointment of that move before this week's game against Miami.
"I never looked at myself, looked in the future, and thought I would play any kind of defense," Rhodes told the Tallahassee Democrat. "I was always a person that loved to catch the ball and run because of my speed."
Rhodes' career as a cornerback didn't get off to the best start. He remembers getting beaten badly in practice by Seminole receivers early on. Only after a significant amount of practice was Rhodes able to hold his own on the practice field.
As a redshirt junior, Rhodes has amassed 22 tackles, five pass breakups and two interceptions in 2012. NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper ranks him as one of the top 25 prospects in the country, and Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher speaks highly of him.
"He’s playing very good football," Fisher said. "Sometimes with a DB you say, ‘Well, I don’t ever hear anything about him.’ Sometimes not hearing anything about him means he’s not giving up plays."