Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 9/4/12
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Florida States season just took a huge hit with the loss of All-American defensive end Brandon Jenkins. But if there was one position that the Seminoles could afford to lose a star, its at defensive end. Florida State players and coach Jimbo Fisher have said this year that senior backup Tank Carradine is like a third starter and that there is no drop-off to him from Jenkins and junior Bjoern Werner. And now Carradine, who led the team with nine tackles and had a sack in the season-opening win over Murray State, will get the chance to play as a starter on Saturday against Savannah State at 6 p.m. Hes a starter, said Werner, who had four sacks against Murray State. Hes as good as we are. Youre going to see over the season. Carradine has played like a starter at FSU. He was considered the nations top junior college defensive end in 2010, and last fall had 38 tackles and 5.5 sacks. Carradine was clearly talented enough to start for most college teams, and now he will be for the rest of the season. I dont like the way that it happened, said Carradine, who is close friends with Jenkins. It just tells me that I have to step up now because the team needs me. We all have to make an effort for Brandon. While Werner and Carradine are known quantities, their backups are just beginning to establish themselves. But Fisher has been pleased with the play of redshirt freshman Giorgio Newberry, who had two tackles, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble against Murray State. While saddened by Jenkins injury, Newberry recognizes the chance he has. Its a great opportunity for me, Newberry said. Me coming in as a freshman, I was a bit raw. I actually thought I was ready last year until I came in and realized how much you need to do as a defensive end. Brandon taught me a lot. Thats who I basically looked after. He told me what to do and what not to do. And Fisher is now looking for a No. 4 defensive end. Monday afternoon, Fisher thought that Jenkins would return to the field and that incoming freshmen Mario Edwards Jr. and Chris Casher would end up taking a redshirt. That changed later Monday when an MRI revealed the extent of Jenkins injury. Now Fisher said Edwards Jr., considered the nations top high school defensive end in the class of 2012, and Casher will be competing for playing time as backups and gain experience for the future. Fisher said that Edwards Jr. has had an excellent preseason practice. I think hes going to be phenomenal, Fisher said.
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