There was a time a few years ago when Jacobbi McDaniel enjoyed the kind of hype that some of this year's freshmen are getting. Rated a five star defensive tackle coming out of high school, McDaniel garnered the kind of national recruiting attention that Mario Edwards and Eddie Goldman got this year.
If either of those two need a fervent reminder of just how fragile their status can be, they need only look to the sideline at Jacobbi McDaniel.
"Coming out of high school you never think you'll be that one to go to college and have that type of injury or anything like that," said McDaniel.
On the sixth play of Florida State's win over Duke McDaniel disclocated his ankle and snapped his fibula.
"It's like an injury you only see on TV, but when it actually happens to you I mean you're kind of down for a minute," said McDaniel. "But that's not the [end of] the world. You've just got to pick yourself up and keep going just keep chopping every day."
McDaniel has been out at practice every day but he is yet to return to team activities. He is staying upbeat nonetheless.
"It's been going pretty well," said McDaniel when asked about camp. "I just have to take it day by day, and look at every day as a positive and just get better."
Part of McDaniel's upbeat attitude stems from his relationship with fellow senior Chris Thompson. McDaniel and Thompson have been teammates dating back to their days at Madison County High School. They were recruited together.
Last year the tailback suffered two broken vertebrae several weeks before McDaniels decimated his ankle.
"During Chris' time when he was down he never seemed down," said McDaniel. "He always went to rehab, did everything he was supposed to do, took his time. He relaxed when he was was supposed to relax, worked out when he was supposed to. Because his injury was before mine we just kind of [fed] off one another."
Though Jimbo Fisher is adamant that decisions on redshirts are far from settled, it's looking more and more like McDaniel may take a redshirt season as senior to get completely healthy.
"If the team needs me I'll come back," said McDaniel. "But if they don't, there's no sense in coming back [too soon], you know that's something I have learned over my years here is being a disciplined person and player. So if they need me I'll come back, but if not I'll just redshirt and take that year to get strong, get better.
"But if they need me I won't hesitate."
Another year would give McDaniel a chance to fully heal and get back to 100%, but it would also give some of the talented underclassmen at his position a chance to get better and continue their progression too.
There are no guarantees that taking a redshirt year would help McDaniel see the field again regularly. To his credit, that's not something he's concerned with.
"I'm just going to do everything right," said McDaniel.
"It's Florida State man, there's always going to be other people coming in competing and if you know me I love to compete. The only thing holding me back was the injury, I'm going to do what I've got to do and just keep on going."