Florida State true freshman cornerback Jalen Ramsey arrived on campus amid a ton of hype -- he was considered one of the nation's top 15 players overall and one of the top three cornerbacks in the 2013 recruiting class -- and is doing his best to live up to his advance billing.
Get this: He is the first true freshman to start at cornerback for the Seminoles since Deion Sanders in 1985. And Ramsey was the first true freshman to start at corner in a season-opening game since Bobby Butler in 1977; Butler went on to play 12 years in the NFL.
Ramsey, from the Nashville area, is a big, physical corner (6-feet-1, 195 pounds) with good speed (low 4.5s in the 40-yard dash) and excellent athleticism (a reported 40-inch vertical leap). He signed with FSU over USC, where he originally committed, and Florida.
"He picked up on things real fast," Williams told reporters about Ramsey. " ... I know when I came in, it was way different for me. I know probably I couldn't have been thrown into the fire like that."
Warchant.com reported that before Ramsey arrived in Tallahassee, he asked new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt for the playbook and videotapes of the practice drills FSU's defensive backs go through. He also spent his final high school spring break attending FSU's spring practice.
"He has a drive inside to be very good and he's very mature above his years," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters. "I think that's what allowed him to do that. He's done a tremendous job and I'm extremely pleased."
But Fisher wants to pump the brakes on the Sanders comparisons.
"He's a heck of a player, but let's just give him a break before we put him in Deion's category," Fisher told reporters.
Fisher does not allow true freshmen to speak with the media.
Meanwhile, touted sophomore defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (6-3, 277) -- one of the nation's top three recruits in the 2012 recruiting cycle -- had a pin inserted in his right hand and could miss FSU's game Saturday against FCS foe Bethune-Cookman. Edwards, a first-year starter for the Seminoles, has seven tackles and a tackle for loss this season.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.