April 14, 2012; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Mario Pender (7) runs the ball past defensive end Brandon Jenkins (4) during the second half of the Florida State spring game at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE
Freshman running back Mario Pender will miss his first season at Florida State, Jimbo Fisher announced Tuesday following practice. He will have surgery for his ailing groin area issue.
Analysis: Pender was highly recruited and has great speed. But he was not in line to make an impact in 2012. As discussed when profiling Pender in early July, he has not shown the maturity and decision making needed to take care of his responsibilities as a football player that would enable him to earn meaningful playing time as a freshman. Included in that is attending and following his rehab program for this injury which has lingered now for months. Pender was listed as fourth on the depth chart, but it is believed fullback Lonnie Pryor would see playing time before him if push came to shove.
I can't imagine FSU feels good about redshirting a kid like Pender, who had many disciplinary issues in high school. Will he stay on the straight and narrow with no playing time incentive? Based on his track record, it's hard to be confident.
Also, as we've maintained all along, FSU will take two running backs in this class.