Jimbo Fisher stood by Florida State’s statement in the Mario Pender incident, declining to offer any further insight into Pender’s arrest and subsequent dismissal from the team.
Fisher, though, did indicate he is not concerned about the impact Pender’s dismissal will have on the running back depth chart.
“We’re OK at running back,” Fisher said this week from the ACC spring meetings in Amelia Island.
Pender’s availability this season was in question even before the incident. He played in just three games last season before suffering a collapsed lung in practice that required surgery. He missed the rest of the season and fell behind in school because of the long hospital stay. Although cleared, he was held out of spring practice.
If he was available, Pender likely would have entered preseason fourth on the depth chart behind Dalvin Cook, Jacques Patrick and Ryan Green. The fact that FSU moved Green back to running back after a season at cornerback was a sign that it may not have been counting on Pender.
Florida State returns all but the 140 yards Pender gained in his three games from the backfield. Cook led FSU with a school-record 1,691 yards. Patrick totaled 314 yards in his freshman season.
Green had a break out spring, leading the Seminoles in the spring game with 84 yards and a TD on 16 carries.
Pender was arrested Saturday and booked on charges of committing violence by strangulation and resisting an officer without violence. The school released a statement that night saying he had been permanently dismissed from the football team.