USA Today

Florida State's Abundance Of Injuries This Season Causing Youth Movement

Florida State has played 26 freshmen so far this season thanks, in large part, to injuries.

Florida State has had some pretty good injury luck the last two seasons, but they're making up for it now. The Seminoles have lost a starter to injury at 12 of the 22 positions for at least one game. The list of players that have missed games due to injuries is a lengthy one.

QB Everett Golson
RB Dalvin Cook Mario Pender
WR Ja'Vonn Harrison George Campbell Auden Tate Nyquan Murray Da'Vante Phillips
TE Jeremy Kerr Jalen Wilkerson
OL Derrick Kelly Chad Mavety Kareem Are Ryan Hoefeld Alec Eberle Cole Minshew Abdul Bello
DE Lorenzo Featherston Chris Casher
LB Terrance Smith Reggie Northrup Tyrell Lyons Sh'Mar Kilby-Lane Delvin Purifoy
DB Nate Andrews Tyler Hunter Trey Marshall Tarvarus McFadden Marcus Lewis Ryan Green

That's 30 players, over a third of the roster, who have been out for at least one game due to an injury. Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher noted that most of the players that have been out have been starters.

"We've been hit through the whole year, camp," Fisher said. "At the end of the day, nobody wants to hear that. We probably had, what, 18, 22, 24 starters out all year. Like I say, somebody asked me which team is better, the team sitting out or the team playing. I had to think about it. I didn't know."

With those injuries the Seminoles have turned to the younger players to fill in. Florida State has played 26 freshmen this season including 13 of the 20 true freshmen. Fisher has had to preach the next man up idea all year with so many young players getting significant playing time.

"Again, that's part of ball," Fisher said. "That's why you recruit well. That's why I think that kids that look at depth charts so much, You got three players. Guys, if you're in that 85, I promise, you're a good player, you're going to have tons of opportunities to play, tons of chances to play because of injuries, bangs up, they way football is. People don't want to hear that.

Your job is the next guy up, you have to coach them and figure out how to play. Our assistant coaches have done a tremendous job with the amount of different starting lineups, guys we've had to pull out of the key positions during games, after games, before games, two days short of games. I think our staff has done one heck of a job in keeping the team progressing, getting better, getting a lot of these young players developed at an early stage so they can contribute.

We've played, what, 28 freshmen this year. A lot of freshmen. Probably top two or three teams in the country as far as playing freshmen."

With all the young players getting so much playing time it's caused some issues with communication, but it's also given Fisher a positive outlook for the future.

"So that's exciting and encouraging for what we got going on in the future," Fisher said. "Keep going."

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