Jimbo Fisher confirmed that Florida State defensive end Lorenzo Featherston’s career is over.
Fisher, talking to a group of reporters at his booster tour stop in Jacksonville, said the paperwork is underway for Featherston to be medically disqualified. Featherston, a sophomore, is allowed to keep his scholarship but it will not count against the 85 the team is allowed.
The Seminoles now are three players over the scholarship limit.
“That’s not something I want to do,” Fisher said. “That’s what he wants to do. It’s unfortunate because that guy was a player.”
Featherston has battled a knee injury since a standout freshman year in which he had 19 tackles, including five for losses. He was expected to contend for a starting job last season but played in just five games. Fisher said in March that Featherson’s career was being threatened because of the knee.
The Seminoles enter this season with one of the top defensive end tandems in the country in DeMarcus Walker and Josh Sweat. Moving Rick Leonard to offensive line thinned out the depth but players like Jacob Pugh, Janarius Robinson, Adam Torres and Keith Bryant of Delray Beach will vie for playing time.
Florida State’s spring practice starts Wednesday and concludes with the annual spring game April 9 in Orlando.
The Seminoles are coming off their fourth consecutive 10 win season (10-3) in what many labeled a rebuilding year. The expectations are even higher for Jimbo Fisher’s squad in 2016 with 16 returning starters, including the entire offense.
We will break down each position until the team hits the practice field. Today we take a look at the defensive line.
Projected starters: DE: SR DeMarcus Walker, SO Josh Sweat; DT: R-SO Demarcus Christmas; NG JR Derrick Nnadi.
Key backups: JR Jacob Pugh, R-JR Keith Bryant, R-SR Chris Casher, JR Lorenzo Featherston, R-SO Fred Jones, JR Rick Leonard, R-SR Justin Shanks.
What to watch for: The line led the defensive resurgence in 2015 with 32 sacks (15 more than 2014) and allowing 145.3 rushing yards (about 25 fewer than 2014). The emergence of Walker and Sweat (who finished the season starting at the hybrid buck position) was the key. Walker led the Seminoles with 19.5 sacks and Sweat started 10 of the final 11 games as a true freshman. Walker’s decision to return was a big boost to the line. … The interior line will miss fifth-year senior Nile Lawrence-Stample, but should be tough to push around with a pair of 300 pounders in Nnadi and Christmas. Nnadi returns as a second-year starter and Christmas was a key backup last season, playing in every game and starting one, while being groomed for the position. … FSU signed a solid crop of linemen with DTs Walvenski Aime and Cedric Wood and DE Janarius Robinson getting a jump by enrolling early. The biggest splash was flipping DT Shavar Manuel from Florida.
In conclusion: The line should be solid once again and anchor what should be a very stingy defense. Walker will be extra motivated after deciding to return for one more season to increase his NFL stock and Sweat, a freshman All-America, is versatile with a relentless motor. He has the ability to rush the passer or drop back in coverage. Christmas should get his first opportunity as a full time starter and he and Nnadi will plug the middle.