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NC State at Florida State Saturday

NC State Wolfpack at Florida State Seminoles: A little more than a week ago, Jerod Fernandez’s family was without water or power in Florida. Hurricane Irma left its impact throughout the state of Florida, including the {senior linebacker’s|linebacker that is senior} hometown of Sanford.

This Saturday, he gets to return to his home state when NC State plays Florida State in Tallahassee, just hours away from Sanford. Fernandez is expecting around 20 family members to come watch him play what could be his final game in Florida sans a bowl game appearance..

Given the fact that Florida is such a hotbed for talent in college football, not every three-star player receives an offer from Florida State, Miami, Florida or other colleges that are top-tier  in the state. Fernandez was one of those players, receiving looks from UCF, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati before ultimately running with the Pack.

Returning home for his {final game against the|game that is final against} Seminoles in the wake of a hurricane that wiped out the state, this game means just a little more for Fernandez.

“It’s real personal,” Fernandez said. “Especially getting to go home and play my {last game at Florida|game that is last at} State. … There’s always motivation, especially when I get to go home and see my family. It’s {a big motivation to|a motivation that is big} play in front of them.”

Fernandez and the rest of the Wolfpack defense face |a dynamic that is interesting Saturday as it will be the first to face FSU’s true freshman quarterback James Blackman. Blackman out of Glades Central is a completely different quarterback from Deondre Francois, who was viewed as a preseason Heisman candidate in several circles.

Blackman is much more of a wiry frame at 6-foot-5, 169 pounds, according to Florida State’s roster. For comparison’s sake, Ryan Finley is 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, so Blackman doesn’t exactly possess the bulk or strength of a player like Francois.

Regardless of who is under center for the Seminoles, Fernandez knows going into Tallahassee and coming away with a win is never easy.

“It’s Florida State,” Fernandez said. “I’ve been here like four years, played against them four years, they still run the same plays. Plays haven’t changed, so we’re just expecting to play our game and beat them at theirs.”

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