For a player with the nickname “Tank,” Florida State defensive end Cornellius Carradine has spent his brief career in Tallahassee doing his damage quietly.
Take the Seminoles season-opening 69-3 thrashing of FCS foe Murray State for example. Carradine led a ferocious defensive effort with nine tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.
The headlines originally were generated by fellow defensive ends Bjeorn Werner (who finished with four sacks) and preseason All-American Brandon Jenkins—who left the game in the second quarter with an injury initially thought to be a bruised foot.
With the announcement earlier this week that Jenkins will be forced to miss the rest of the 2012 season due to a lisfranc injury, Jimbo Fisher will now turn to Carradine to fill the shoes of a player that has 22.5 career sacks (h/t Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel).
While Carradine—who was the nation’s top JUCO transfer in 2011 according to Rivals—may not be a known commodity to fans across the nation, Fisher and his teammates have treated him as the team’s third starter at defensive end (h/t Bob Ferrante, Palm Beach Post).
The 6’5”, 265-pound senior had a solid debut season for the ‘Noles in 2011 when he recorded 38 tackles, eight tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks as a backup to Jenkins and Werner.
Towards the end of last season—especially the last two games against Florida and in the bowl game against Notre Dame—Carradine was practically unblockable.
Considering that his playing time will increase substantially and the fact that he is playing opposite a freak like Werner, Carradine’s numbers are likely to shoot upward.
If his performance last weekend is any indication, the misfortune of losing Jenkins could be offset by the opportunity for Carradine to blossom into the ‘Noles next dominant pass-rusher.
Losing Jenkins—who was viewed as a potential first-round NFL draft pick—is a blow that would be crippling to most teams across the nation.
However, the Seminoles have the luxury of plugging in an NFL-caliber talent in Carradine—plus highly touted freshmen like Giorgio Newberry, Mario Edwards, Jr. and Chris Casher are capable of providing depth.
As a senior that chose to come back to FSU instead of opting for the NFL draft last season, Jenkins’ presence as a leader will be sorely missed for a team with ACC and national title aspirations.
Still, Seminoles fans can take solace that Carradine is a talented replacement that can make up for Jenkins' loss on the field.