TALLAHASSEE — On Florida State’s practice fields all this month, hopping from drill to defensive drill, have been two players in white jerseys wearing the number “6.”
Both could start later this fall.
The operative word is “could.”
As long as CB Nick Waisome and DE Dan Hicks continue wearing the same number, though, neither will be sharing the field. Whether it’s starting time or substitution time, they won’t be playing simultaneously.
That’s because of NCAA rules. Players playing on the same unit for the same team while wearing the same numbers cannot be on the field at the same time. Duplicate numbers are permitted as long as players aren’t on the field together.
“If we need one, then the other one’s got to come off the field,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “That’s their choice.”
For now, it doesn’t appear either player is willing to relinquish control of the numeral. In the spring, Waisome adamantly said “6” was his. He had already been talked into letting defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. have the No. 15 and outside linebacker Terrance Smith the No. 24.
Since his earlier plans to take the other two numbers backfired, Waisome decided to dig in and fight for the number has had since high school.
Hicks wore No. 1 in high school and began his college career with No. 58 before switching to No. 6 last season ahead of a change to tight end. He moved back to defensive end this year after a season-ending knee injury.
“I told them it’s not my decision,” Fisher said. “If that number’s that important to you, you can sit there and wave at the fans.”
--- Peterson returns to UF as assistant
GAINESVILLE — Mike Peterson is back in Gainesville, back in school and back on the field at Florida.
The former Colts, Jaguars and Falcons linebacker is working as an undergraduate student assistant for coach Will Muschamp. Getting his degree — he needs to complete two classes this fall — and helping the Gators are the first steps to what he hopes will be a coaching career.
Then again, Peterson spent his last two years under Atlanta coach Mike Smith mentoring young guys.
He calls his recent role a “humbling experience” and a “great opportunity.”
Playing the game so long has probably led me in [this] direction a littler quicker,” Peterson said Tuesday. “When you love the game you want to stay around the game in some kind of way.”
Naturally, Muschamp has Peterson working with linebackers. Not only does he bring 14 years of NFL experience, but his presence also frees up linebackers coach D.J. Durkin to spend more time in his new role as defensive coordinator.
From wire reports
--- Canes to honor ’83 champs on Aug. 30
CORAL GABLES — As part of its 30th anniversary celebration, the University of Miami will honor the 1983 national champion football team at halftime of its Aug. 30 season opener against Florida Atlantic.
More than 50 players and coaches from the 1983 team are planning to attend, with more names being added daily.
“1983 was the linchpin that put into place the wonderful talent that was assembled and would continue to create the greatest college football dynasty since World War II,” former Miami Hurricanes coach Howard Schnellenberger said. “I was thrilled when I learned the University was going to move up the next scheduled reunion so that I and many others could participate and enjoy.”
Upon his arrival in Coral Gables in 1979, Schnellenberger boldly predicted that the Hurricanes would win a national championship within five years.