McFad­den ea­ger to re­turn punts

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - SPORTS - Safid Deen

TAL­LA­HAS­SEE – is ready to put a little more work on Florida State ju­nior CB

plate in 2017. Dur­ing his first season as a start­ing bound­ary de­fender, McFad­den gave up his fair share of big plays and dropped in­ter­cep­tions. But the for­mer five-star Plan­ta­tion Amer­i­can Her­itage stand­out even­tu­ally set­tled into his role, and ended the season lead­ing all de­fend­ers na­tion­ally with eight in­ter­cep­tions in 2016.

Now, Fisher wants McFad­den to help the Semi­noles se­cure ideal field po­si­tion as a punt re­turner, a chal­lenge McFad­den is ready to tame head-on.

“As a de­fen­sive player, we don’t get our hands on the ball too often so when I get the ball in my hands, I’m try­ing to make some­thing shake,” McFad­den said. “I’m try­ing to go the dis­tance.”

McFad­den re­turned kicks and punts in high school, but was be­hind for­mer WR and ju­nior WR

in prac­tice as a punt re­turner last season. With a year of ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt, Fisher be­lieves McFad­den can help the of­fense get off to a good start when­ever the de­fense comes up with a stop.

“At punt re­turn, you just have to se­cure the ball first — that’s the main thing,” McFad­den said. “If noth­ing else hap­pens, you just have to make sure you catch the ball. Field po­si­tion is a big thing in col­lege foot­ball. If you drop the ball, it would give the other team mo­men­tum that we don’t need.”

No. 3 FSU vs. No. 1 Alabama (At­lanta), Satur­day, 8 p.m., ABC

Nyqwan Mur­ray Next game: Jimbo Fisher Tar­varus McFad­den’s Bobo Wilson

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