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12 for 12: Xavier Rhodes
Xavier Rhodes

Xavier Rhodes

July 17, 2012

By Scott Kotick,

Today we continue our look at the top players to watch this season with our third member of the secondary on this year's countdown.

There's no question that Xavier Rhodes is vital to the team's success this season. After winning ACC defensive rookie of the year in 2010, Rhodes did not have as successful a sophomore campaign and had to deal with minor injuries throughout the season.

But when Rhodes is healthy, the Seminole secondary is one of the best in the nation.

Rhodes possesses that rare combination of size, speed, and strength to make him one of the most feared boundary corners in the country.

At 6'2 and 210 pounds, he's extremely tough and presents worlds of matchup problems for opposing receivers. He's become great about using those long arms to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage, and and run with just about anyone in space.

At times last season, quarterbacks just would not throw against Rhodes.

This season, as with so many others, Rhodes simply has to stay healthy. He's coming off a knee injury from the bowl game against Notre Dame, but should be just fine once the season rolls around.

Rhodes and teammate Greg Reid are the veteran leaders at the corner position, and with only young talent behind them, it becomes even more important that Rhodes make it through the season healthy.

With his presence on the field, it creates nightmares for opposing QB's. He's as solid as they come, and crucial to the team's success this season.

Come back tomorrow for our final installment of our top 12 players to watch for 2012.

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