TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State football team, up one spot to No. 6 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches poll, returned to full pads for Tuesday’s workout at the Al Dunlap Practice Fields. It also marked the first time the Seminoles practiced knowing that they would be without senior All-American defensive end Brandon Jenkins for the rest of the season.
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said Jenkins was clearly shaken by the injury.
“That’s one of the things in this world that’s not fair, because he is everything that’s right about college football,” said Fisher. “He wanted to come back and be a first-round draft pick, lead the team to a national championship, finish his degree and do all the right things.”
Cornellius Carradine, who led the Seminoles with nine tackles in Saturday’s win over Murray State, will step into Jenkins’ starting spot at the right defensive end position. Bjoern Werner will stay at his left end starting spot. Redshirt freshman Giorgio Newberry and senior Toshmon Stevens will be the back-ups, but Fisher said that one or both true freshmen – Mario Edwards Jr. and Chris Casher – will move into the rotation.
Despite a somewhat somber practice mood as a result of Jenkins’ injury, Fisher gave the Seminoles high marks for their effort Tuesday as they prepare for Saturday’s home game against Savannah State, which is set for 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN3.
Werner claims ACC and national honors
Junior defensive end Bjoern Werner piled up five tackles for loss, including four sacks for minus-30 yards in Saturday’s 69-3 win over Murray State. Since then, he’s been stacking up awards for one of the most dominant defensive performances in FSU history.
Werner was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week Tuesday, to go along with some national honors as well. The College Football Performance Awards named the Berlin, Germany native National Defensive Lineman and National Defensive Player of the Week. He was also selected as the national Lott IMPACT Award winner of the opening week of the season.
Senior defensive tackle Anthony McCloud, who missed the opening game with a chest injury, has had two solid days of work on the practice field and Fisher expects he will be close to ready for Saturday’s home game…Freshman speedster Marvin Bracy continues to be hampered by a tender hamstring that has kept the wide receiver/return specialist from getting into the mix at this point…Two veteran special teams players will be sporting new uniform numbers this weekend. Junior holder Chris Revell will wear No. 86 after donning 69 early in his career. Second-team long snapper Philip Doumar went the juxtaposition route, swapping out his old No. 75 in favor of 57.
Comments from Jimbo Fisher
Regarding Brandon Jenkins’ injury and impact moving forward:
“I think he’s struggling. It’s like anything. It’s a major blow. He’s never really been hurt in his life and to be doing as well as he had been doing – to have the spring he’s had, the fall camp he had – and to be hurt on a play that he never got cut, never got hit [is understandable].”
“The original X-rays were negative, but he had the swelling there, so we said we’ll check with an MRI and a pressure-bearing [X-ray] and it showed up.”
“The good thing about this injury is it’s not career-ending. It’s something many tailback, running backs – I’ve had a quarterback that had it one year – it fixes and he goes back the next year. For his sake, what he wanted to accomplish and the reasons he wanted to accomplish them, are all the right reasons.”
“Now you’ve got Tank on the other side and you’ve got Bjoern. You’ve got Giorgio coming in there and of course Toshmon there. Then you’ve got to play Mario or Casher; whichever one jumps up and takes that next step. … How fast things can change in 24 hours. We were having a conversation about red-shirting guys then all of a sudden [Jenkins is out]. It’s a great lesson I try to tell them guys: ‘Even though this is going to happen, you can’t wait to play. You’ve got to prepare yourself to play.’”
“It’s an opportunity. That group of guys was very tight-knit and had great respect for each other. That’s definitely not the way you want it, but it’s an opportunity.”
“It’s going to affect us because you don’t replace a Brandon Jenkins, but hopefully we adapt as a team and understand we’ve all got a job to do and we go back to work.”
“Brandon is going to be a part of us as he comprehends this and gets his feet back on the ground. He’ll come back and be a great leader for us as far as off the field and help our team. On the field, we have to honor him by playing the way he would play.”