Florida State University Seminoles
Norland High School
In just three seasons, this former wide receiver recruit has transformed into one of the best cornerbacks, and certainly one of the most physical pass defenders in the college game. His natural hands from previous experience as a pass catcher, along with great leaping ability and impeccable timing going up for the ball at its highest point has resulted in the fourth-year junior intercepting eight passes and deflecting 23 others through 43 games.
It is a bit ironic that the former receiver, who was initially not pleased with the decision to move to the defensive side of the ball, showed his matured when the shift was announced and was quick to embrace the role. Accountable and aggressive on the field, Rhodes has also shown impressive tackling ability.
The Seminole has recorded 140 tackles while starting 38 games at the demanding boundary cornerback position. He also showed solid blitzing ability, as he delivered a pair of sacks, seven stops behind the line of scrimmage and recovered three fumbles in the opposing backfields.
Prior to joining the Florida State program, Rhodes attended Norland High School, where he played on both sides of the ball, but was more known for his receiving skills, leading the team in that category, along with pacing the squad in rushing as a senior. He was rated the 50th-best receiver in the country and a three-star prospect by Scout.com and placed 75th nationally among receivers and 91st on the Florida Top 100 list compiled by Rivals.com.
During his final campaign, Rhodes also garnered Class 6A all-State first-team honors from the Florida Sports Writers Association as an athlete, adding All-Dade County first-team accolades. As a junior, he amassed over 1,000 all-purpose yards, which included 20 catches for 231 yards and four touchdowns.
As a senior, he rushed for 339 yards and six touchdowns on 62 carries, along with snaring 10 passes for 256 yards and a score. He also earned All-Dade honors on the defensive side of the ball and played in the 12th annual Nike South Florida All-Star game.
Rhodes turned down scholarship offered from Auburn, Florida International and West Virginia when he enrolled at Florida State in 2009. He appeared in two games as a reserve defensive back, but did not record any tackles before suffering a hand injury that ended his season.
Determined to embrace his role as a defensive player, he wrested the starting boundary cornerback position for 2010, as the consensus Freshman All-American was voted the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Defensive Rookie of the Year by the league’s coaches. He recorded 58 tackles with a pair of sacks and caused two fumbles. His sixteen passes defended led the Seminoles, including four interceptions and twelve pass break-ups.
Rhodes was part of the team’s three-man rotation at the two cornerback spots in 2011, starting ten times at boundary corner. The Mr. Dependable Skill Award recipient was in on 43 tackles, as he had his fifth career interception and broke up four other throws.
The only player in the ACC to earn semi-finalist status for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back, Rhodes was a first-team All-ACC and third-team All-American selection in 2012. He again led the Seminoles with ten passes defended, was third in the conference with three interceptions and delivered 39 tackles while starting all fourteen contests at his customary boundary cornerback position.
Often compared top Pittsburgh Steelers standout cornerback Ike Taylor, as both like to be very physical with their pass coverage assignments, Rhodes announced after the Seminoles’ appearance vs. Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl, that he was entering the 2013 NFL Draft and leaving school. "I'm excited about it," Rhodes said, "but it depends on me and how I perform in the combine if I'm going to be a first-rounder. I did all I could in college. If I was to come back, I don't think my status would be getting any better."
Rhodes started 38-of-43 games at boundary cornerback for Florida State, recording 140 tackles (112 solos) that included two sacks for minus 9 yards and seven stops for losses of 24 yards…Recovered three fumbles and caused another…Gained 54 yards on eight interception returns and deflected 23 passes.
Rhodes earned third-team All-American honors from The NFL Draft Report and Phil Steele, as the Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist was a unanimous All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team choice…Earned the Mr. Dependable Skill Award at the team's annual banquet for the second straight year…Started all fourteen games at boundary cornerback, collecting 39 tackles (27 solos) with two stops for losses of 8 yards…Caused and recovered a fumble… Gained 14 yards on three interception returns and deflected seven other tosses…Was targeted 47 times and allowed just 13 completions for 88 yards and no touchdowns, as he anchored an FSU secondary that held nine of the top 10 receivers in the ACC at the time they faced them to a combined 22 catches for 244 yards...The junior helped Florida State's defense lead the nation in yards allowed per play (3.86), rank second nationally in total defense (254.14 ypg) and rank in the top six nationally in scoring defense (14.71 ppg), rushing defense (92.29 ypg), pass defense (161.86 ypg), pass efficiency defense (95.43) and opponent three-and-outs (6.29 per game)...Rhodes’ third interception and eighth career pick came in the ACC Championship Game vs. Georgia Tech, returning the ball 14 yards...His two other interceptions picks came vs. Murray State (five tackles and two pass break-ups) and at South Florida...Forced and recovered a fumble in the Orange Bowl vs. Northern Illinois, as he also made four tackles, including one for a 7-yard loss...Registered a season-high seven tackles at North Carolina State.
The second-year starter at cornerback who was part of a three-man starting rotation with Mike Harris and Greg Reid, joined the first unit for ten contests at boundary cornerback...
Selected as the Mr. Dependable Skill Award winner at the team's annual banquet, the third-year sophomore registered 43 tackles (36 solos) with 1.5 stops for losses of three yards… Deflected four passes and intercepted another…Made five tackles in each of the Clemson, Wake Forest and Duke games...Tallied a season-high six tackles vs. Maryland...Intercepted his first pass of the season vs. North Carolina State...Finished with four tackles in the win over Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Rhodes was a consensus Freshman All-American and was voted the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year...Also earned National Defensive Freshman of the Year honors from College Football News…Started all fourteen 14 games at the boundary cornerback position and emerged as a promising young star for FSU's vastly improved defense....The tall and rangy pass defender used those physical attributes to record twelve pass break-ups and four interceptions, good for 40 yards in returns…His sixteen passes defended led all freshmen nationally...Also recorded 58 tackles (49 solos) with two sacks for minus 9 yards and 3.5 stops for losses totaling 13 yards…Caused two fumbles…Credited with three pass break-ups in pivotal Atlantic Division wins over Boston College and Clemson, as he also intercepted a pass in the end zone vs. the Tigers which proved to swing the momentum in the Seminoles' 16-13 victory...His previous interceptions came vs. Brigham Young and North Carolina State...Recovered the first two fumbles of his career in FSU's home finale vs. Florida in a 31-7 rout...Named one of the top newcomers on defense at the annual Florida State football banquet.
Rhodes appeared in two games - Boston College and Georgia Tech - on special teams before suffering a hand injury that sidelined him for the balance of the season.
2009 Season…Rhodes was granted a medical red-shirt after he suffered a hand (thumb) injury that required surgery and sidelined him for the balance of the season after playing in two games.
2011 Season…Rhodes injured his left knee in the Champs Sports Bowl vs. Notre Dame and underwent arthroscopic surgery.
4.43 in the 40-yard dash…1.56 10-yard dash…2.50 20-yard dash…4.31 20-yard shuttle…
7.34 three-cone drill…40 ½-inch vertical jump…11’0” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 14 times…33 ¾-inch arm length…9-inch hands…77 1/8-inch wingspan.
Rhodes attended Norland (Miami, Fla.) High School, where he played on both sides of the ball…Better known for his receiving skills, he led the team in that category, along with pacing the squad in rushing as a senior…Rated the 50th-best receiver in the country and a three-star prospect by Scout.com and placed 75th nationally among receivers and 91st on the Florida Top 100 list compiled by Rivals.com…As a senior, Rhodes also garnered Class 6A all-State first-team honors from the Florida Sports Writers Association as an athlete, adding All-Dade County first-team accolades…As a junior, he amassed over 1,000 all-purpose yards, which included 20 catches for 231 yards and four touchdowns…In 2008, he rushed for 339 yards and six touchdowns on 62 carries, along with snaring 10 passes for 256 yards and a score…Also earned All-Dade honors on the defensive side of the ball and played in the 12th annual Nike South Florida All-Star game.
History major…Born 6/19/90…Resides in Miami, Florida.