Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher is facing a dilemma most prominent college-football programs would love to have on their hands. Senior defensive end Brandon Jenkins will miss the remainder of the 2012 season after suffering a Lisfranc injury in his left foot during Florida State's Week 1 blowout victory over Murray State.
Jenkins earned second team All-ACC honors in 2011, in addition to being named the top defensive player by the Seminoles coaches, and was the recipient of the Hinesman award for being Florida State's top overall player this spring.
The Tallahassee, Fla. product managed to rack up 21.5 sacks, 36.5 tackles for loss and 116 total tackles from 2010-2011, which were his first two seasons as Florida State's starting defensive end.
Fortunately for the Seminoles, they are one of the deepest teams in the country in terms of defensive line personnel thanks to Fisher's outstanding performance on the recruiting trail since he took over for coaching legend Bobby Bowden in 2010.
German-born junior defensive end Bjoern Werner is entering his second season as a starter, and recorded five solo tackles, four of which were sacks, against Murray State last Saturday. Additionally, Jenkins' backup, senior defensive end Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, made nine total tackles and one sack in Florida State's season opening route.
Those three defensive ends expected to put up monster numbers in 2012, in addition to Florida State being one of the top defensive lines in the country this season.
All of this meant the Seminoles had no room for Edwards and Casher in their rotation of linemen and on Monday morning Fisher announced the two would redshirt this year along with coveted prospects Justin Shanks, Ukeme Eligwe, Marvin Bracy, Colin Blake and 5-star quarterback recruit Jameis Winston.
"(Edwards) is going to be a phenomenal player, he's had a great camp. I think he's going to be phenomenal. We act like in today's time that if you redshirt a guy it's the kiss of death."
Edwards was a 5-star recruit, the nation's No. 3 overall prospect and No. 1 ranked defensive tackle in the class of 2012 according to Rivals.com. On the flipside, Casher was a 4-star prospect and he was the No. 36 overall high school senior in the nation.
Although Edwards and Casher would have a chance at more playing time this season, with Jenkins lost until 2013, do not expect Fisher to play either of the talented true freshmen unless the Seminoles lose another defensive end to injury.
The Seminoles already have enough talent and depth on their defensive line to win an Atlantic Coast Conference title in 2012 without Edwards and Casher suiting up.
Florida State's updated depth chart came out Monday afternoon via Warchant.com and listed Edwards as the No. 3 player at one defensive end position and Casher was third on the two-deep at the Seminoles' other defensive end spot.
Redshirt freshman Giorgio Newberry is the immediate backup to Carradine, while 6'5", 280-pound senior Toshmon Stevens is behind Werner for the Seminoles' upcoming game against Savannah State.
Choosing to redshirt the highly ranked recruits Fisher lured to Florida State is a sign that he and the Seminoles are preparing for a long-term reign of dominance in the ACC and to once again become consistent contenders on a national level as well.
Zach Dirlam is the former Lead Editor of the College Basketball section as well as a Big Ten columnist for the FOX Sports/MSN/YardBarker affiliate website Sports at Work.
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