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FSU’s Derrick Nnadi assumes leadership role for Seminole team

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It’s a transitory thing, leadership.

One day, you’re looking around the huddle, and other guys are pointing out the direction.

The next day, the rest of the huddle is looking at you, and it’s up to you to plot the course.

In college football, where the faces change so often, it’s especially true.

And so has learned Derrick Nnadi, leader of the FSU Seminoles.

“I’ve probably said this a lot before,” Nnadi told the Orlando Sentinel. “I’m not one who’s like ‘I’m going to be a leader.’ I just want to make sure what I’m doing is right.

“But as I’m getting older, being a senior, I have to take certain types of responsibilities. I have to do it. If it’s for the good of the team, I’m not going to deny it.”

Oh, the Seminoles need it. From last year’s team, they lost Dalvin Cook and DeMarcus Walker.

Last year, FSU lost two of its first five games, as Nnadi was hampered by a bad ankle. But the Seminoles won seven of their last eight games.

“(I’m) just trying to give them some sort of motivation in drills even though I don’t talk that much,” Nnadi said. “Every now and them, I’ll be like ‘come on bro, you’ve got this. Come on, just keep it moving.’ Or just leading by example.

“I just want to prove I’ve gotten better year in and year out, and overall just be an elite tackle,” Nnadi said.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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