The Florida State defense got off to a slow start on Saturday against Boston College. Well, most of it did, anyway. Junior Seminole safety Hamsah Nasirildeen recorded FSU’s second tackle of the game and never looked back.
When the game finished, FSU was on top, and Nasirildeen’s 22 tackles very nearly pushed him to the top of the ’Nole record book. Only one other player in Florida State history has accumulated more tackles within the span of a single contest— and that happened more than 50 years ago.
In 1968, All-American linebacker Dale McCullers authored the two most prolific tackling games in garnet and gold history— and he did so in back-to-back games. Against rival Florida in late September, McCullers took down 26 Gators, and a week later McCullers topped himself, amassing 29 tackles against Texas A&M.
And then there’s Nasirildeen’s 22 against BC, which is tied for third all-time at FSU with Roy Bickford, who posted the same number against Mississippi State in 1961. There’s been plenty of forgettable history made at Florida State over the last few seasons, so a performance like this — the greatest tackling display in the last half-century — can be useful in maintaining perspective. Sure, a safety accounting for this many tackles isn’t ideal; but that shouldn’t take away from Nas’ effort. It’s an apt microcosm of Nasirildeen’s 2019 season, which has been exceptional.