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Woodson: Freshmen DBs ‘unlike most freshmen’

Florida State defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson spoke with the media on Tuesday after practice. Woodson’s group has been opportunistic, recording interceptions in six straight games. On Saturday against Miami, it was Jammie Robinson and Omarion Cooper who came through with interceptions in the first quarter.

(On what he told Omarion Cooper prior to his first start) “Go out and play. Go out and have fun. He was a kid that was well prepared. He shows up to work every day with the right attitude. He’s a film junkie. He studies the opponent. He studies the game plan that we present to our players. It was no surprise to me as a coach with the way that he performed.”

(Starting two true freshmen in nickel Kevin Knowles and Cooper) “Those two freshmen are unlike most freshmen. They are very mature. They became pros early in the process. They know the work that it takes in order to be prepared for the moment. For us as a staff we got total confidence in both of those guys. That’s why they are two of the 11 taking the field on the first play of the game. Regardless of classification, when you take talent and you put it with hard work and preparation that presents a great opportunity to go out and make a play. And that’s exactly what they did.”

(Why the defensive backs have gained confidence) Just continuing to respond to success and adversity. We had a lot of ups and downs throughout the course of the season but we continued to do was show up and work every day. We have grown up a lot as a group. We’ve found some continuity within the guys we feel we can win with. They have developed some one-ness as a group that we needed that we didn’t have early on. I’ve just been proud to see the growth individually from each kid but then more importantly collectively as a group that we’ve had throughout the course of the season. We just got to continue to climb. And continue to move forward and improve each and every day.

(On Akeem Dent bouncing back from missed chances vs. NC State) Each week we tell each player what they need to improve on. And his emphasis going into the Miami week was improving his tackling. He came out to practice and made it an emphasis himself. He made some really good tackles on Saturday. The key with Akeem is just continuing to be consistent. Even in the game the previous week, he came out, made some early good tackles, then came and missed a few. And then in the Miami game he made pretty much each and every one that came his way. I’m going to continue to challenge him as a coach to make that an emphasis, to continue to be consistent and put it all together.