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3 posts from November 19, 2012

November 19, 2012

Brandon Jenkins Announces Intention to Enter NFL Draft

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Brandon Jenkins will not play another down as a Florida State Seminole. After deciding to return for his senior year only to be injured in the first game and forced to miss the season, Jenkins will not apply for a redshirt next season opting instead to enter the draft.

"I had a lot of time to think about things, and gain information about how this injury affected everything, so I think I came to a conclusion," said Jenkins. "I think it's time. It's been great, I love FSU, I bleed garnet and gold, it was a tough decision. I feel like my time's been good, I will enter the draft."

We had a chance to talk to Brandon Jenkins today for the first time in a couple months. He looks good, sounds upbeat and has been absolutely living in the weightroom while he rehabs his Lisfranc fracture. 

While Jenkins maintains everything happens for a reason, he isn't chancing another setback to his NFL prospects by returning another season. And though he won't admit it publicly, I'm sure a small part of him regrets the decision to pass up money in last year's draft and come back to Florida State.

FSU really didn't need BJ this year as has been proven by Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine. Most programs could never hope to absorb the loss of preseason all-American, especially one with Jenkins' potential impact, but Florida State hasn't had to sweat it. As much as losing Jenkins hurt the team emotionally, having him back this season was essentially a luxury.

Jenkins arrived at his decision to leave this week, he spoke with Jimbo Fisher earlier today.

“I am very supportive of Brandon’s decision," said Fisher in a statement. "We had a great talk. It is best for him to go and become an NFL football player, which he most definitely will.

"We were very blessed to have had him here at Florida State. He’s one of the great players in Florida State history, but not only that, he’s one of the great people in Florida State history. He represented our team and our school with great dignity. I wish him nothing but the best and it was a pleasure to be able to coach him.”

"That was one of the most emotional times in my life talking to [coach] Fisher about this," said Jenkins. "He gave me a hug and he gave me words, he cares about me as an individual and not just a football player. He supports my decision and right now I'm just ready to win an ACC championship and put this behind and just rehab some more and watch us beat the Gators."

After the season Jenkins will turn his attention to the NFL draft and preparing for the Combine and Pro Day workouts. Jenkins, Tank Carradine and likely Bjoern Werner (who is a top-10 NFL prospect right now) could be three of the top ends in April's draft. Jenkins finishes his FSU career with 22.5 sacks and 37.5 TFL's. 

"There's things you face in life that you can't back down [from]," said Jenkins. "There's things you go through that make you stronger and make you better. I feel like this is a stepping stone for me to challenge me. I'm a big believer in God. I feel like this is a situation He's putting me in to challenge me to see how much I believe in Him."

A healthy Brandon Jenkins could easily be a first round talent, it remains to be seen how far along he is in his recovery by draft day though.

Dr. Lou Calls Florida State 'Vastly Underrated'

Lou Holtz was in town today speaking at a function as a guest of Governor Rick Scott. During a media break Dr. Lou was asked about, what else, college football. He starts by talking about his own Fighting Irish and the success they're having this season, but then turns his attention to Florida State, a team he feels is 'vastly underrated.' You may have heard Holtz and co-host Mark May arguing about Florida State's merits earlier this season on ESPN. With one week to go in the season, it seems Dr. Lou is still high on the 'Noles.

Check out the vidcap below:

Florida State's One-Point Margin for Error Looms Larger than Ever

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Now it really hurts.

Now– almost as much as in the hours immediately afterwards– those ill-fated 30 minutes of football in the second half of a game at NC State sting in the minds of Seminoles fans.

On Saturday, just hours after clinching the Atlantic division of the ACC with a 41-14 win at Maryland, Florida State was given a harsh reminder of what could have been.

In the day’s late slate of games Stanford upset Oregon and Baylor way-layed Kansas State. Numbers one and two had fallen, the count of unbeatens had shrunk to one.

In Tallahassee, thoughts of October 6th in Raleigh crept back into the minds of the Seminoles.

After taking a 16-0 lead into the locker room at NC State, Florida State’s offense stalled. The Wolfpack nickel-and-dimed the Seminole D for 17 second-half points and FSU went home losers 17-16.

It’s the only time it’s happened all season, the Seminoles’ lone blemish, but it came full circle on Saturday night when Oregon and Kansas State both fell.

Now the Seminoles find themselves stuck at 10th in the BCS, weighed down by the computers, just tangibly out of reach of their preseason goal of a national title.

Florida State is literally just a one-point October loss from being unbeaten and poised to take on Notre Dame (the new consensus number one) in a rematch of last year’s Champs Sports Bowl.

The last team to beat Notre Dame, after all, was Florida State.

But nobody’s pointing that out. This is what it feels like to lack college football capital. Once a stalwart program, a decade down has rendered Florida State’s reputation largely irrelevant– nobody’s giving the ‘Noles the benefit of the doubt anymore.

After all the Seminoles have not won their own conference in seven years, have not played for a championship in 12.

The college football world seems acutely aware of this.

And while one and even two-loss teams from more prestigious conferences continue to jump Florida State, the Seminoles are treading water, left thinking about what could have been.

Right now Florida State is fighting an uphill battle to “get back,” in a disrespected conference with a razor thin margin for error.

How thin?

How about a single point.

Were it not for that one-point loss over a month ago in Raleigh the Seminoles would be poised for a shot at a BCS title. Instead they find themselves entering the last week of the season navigating BCS scenarios that have their destiny in other team’s hands.

At the center of those scenarios is their regular season finale against a one-loss SEC school and hated rival– Florida.

The Gators represent Florida State’s last best chance to make a statement to voters, the following week’s ACC Championship game will likely hurt the Seminoles with the BCS computers.

FSU’s last best hope may be a resounding win over UF, some key losses by teams ahead of them and a boost in the polls.

Even then, it’s still unlikely to be enough in the BCS. Even if the ‘Noles can soundly defeat the no. 4-ranked Florida Gators and get the help they need the computers are unlikely to give the Seminoles a shot.

Because of one point.

That made all the difference.


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