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Six 'Noles; Four Sports

Jan. 13, 2014

Brandon Mellor Brandon Mellor
Seminoles.com Managing Editor
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Deion Sanders made it famous, now current Florida State football players are making it common place.

More and more `Noles are playing two sports in Tallahassee.

FSU men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton's public confirmation Sunday night that defensive back Marquez White will begin practicing with his team means that six members of the national-champion Seminoles will compete in an additional sport in 2014.

Here's a look at each of those athletes and what they provide their "second" team:

Marquez White

The true freshman defensive back actually started his rookie campaign on the gridiron at wide receiver before moving back to the secondary full time so his athleticism is clear. 

In addition to being a talented football prospect coming out of Northview High School in Dothan, Ala., White averaged 19.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists on the hardwood. At 6 feet and 171 pounds, White will provide speed and skill as a reserve in FSU's backcourt.

Jameis Winston

Ever heard of him? FSU's Heisman-Trophy winning quarterback will re-join the FSU baseball team and once again will juggle spring football practice and his duties on the diamond for Mike Martin.

A year ago, Winston proved that managing the responsibilities of playing in the outfield and as a relief pitcher don't negatively affect his ability to work and get better as a signal caller for Jimbo Fisher. Winston and both FSU teams benefit from the relationship between Fisher, Mike Martin and Mike Martin, Jr.

Like the 2013 campaign, Winston will provide a big arm in the outfield that is capable of making impact defensive plays and he'll use the same arm that tossed the game-winning touchdown to Kelvin Benjamin against Auburn last week to provide additional depth in the Seminoles' rotation.

Ronald Darby

The talented defensive back was actually on the track & field team a season ago but redshirted following off-season surgery stemming from an ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign with the football `Noles in 2012.

As a senior at Potomac High School in Maryland, Darby paved the way towards a Maryland 3A state championship after winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes. In Darby, FSU associate head coach/director of sprint, hurdles & relays Ken Harnden adds to his stockpile of speedy talent with a young sprinter that was a member of the gold-medal winning USA medley flat at the 2011 World Youth Championships in France.

Levonte Whitfield

The Pasadena hero is considered by many to be one of -- if not the -- fastest college football players in America and he'll take the blazing speed he showcased against the Tigers' special teams unit to the track. 

At Jones High School in Orlando, Fla., "Kermit" won the Florida 3A state title in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. He also won the Adidas Dream 100 race in 2012 and set a personal best of 10.21 int he 100. The sky is the limit for Whitfield on the track with Harnden coaching him.

Jalen Ramsey

Like Whitfield and White, Ramsey is a true freshman football player that oozes athleticism.

After starting all 14 games in the defensive secondary for the Seminoles, Ramsey will jump for the track `Noles this year. As a senior in high school, the Smyrna, Tenn. native not only won the 400 meters in the Division II boys track title in Tennessee but he also set a new state record with a 25-3 1/4 in the long jump -- a mark that had been set 15 years prior.

John Franklin III

Another young Florida State football player, another sprinter.

FSU's true freshman fourth-string quarterback will take his speed to the track where he'll be part of the sprints team. In high school, Franklin III finished fifth in the 200-meter dash at the 4A state track & field championships last year. 

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