When Florida State and USF hit the field on Saturday, there will be a lot of familiarity amongst players. For heaven’s sake, senior quarterback B.J. Daniels grew up in Tallahassee.
However, there might not might be as many connections shared between these two opponents like their will be between Bulls senior corner back George Baker and Seminole senior wide receiver Rodney Smith.
Not only will the two be lining up against each other Saturday, but they were teammates in high school at Archbishop Catholic High School in Miami. For years, they lined up against each other in practice.
Baker must have a good memory, because he remembers who was faster.
“I was,” Baker said with a laugh.
Most importantly though, is Baker faster now?
“Yes,” the corner back said coyly.
Baker considers Smith to be one of FSU’s top offensive weapons as well as a close friend. He said the two have not sprung up the conversation regarding the rivalry though.
“I don’t really do all that…I just like to show up and play, play my game,” he said.
The Baker/Smith match-up should prove to be one of the most intriguing ones in this game. Smith, the 6’’6 219 pound receiver has eight catches this year, worth, 149 yards. He’s also scored three touchdowns this season and is averaging over 18 yard per reception.
While Baker stands at 5’11’’, a considerable disadvantage considering who he is matching up against, he is no stranger to receivers with a considerable height advantage. He’s faced some at Rutgers and Nevada.
Another interesting tidbit about Baker: he played in the 17-7 victory the Bulls had over the Seminoles in 2009 as a freshman, along with 11 other players on USF’s roster.
“That game was crazy…we just really got after them,” Baker said. “There was a lot of swag on our defensive side of the ball. We made plays on defense and offense. We are just trying to do the same thing.”