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Coaches hopeful but uncertain about return of Kaindoh, Nasirildeen

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The availability of two of Florida State’s top defensive players will likely go right up to Saturday’s game at Miami.

FSU was without safety Hamsah Nasirildeen in the season opener against Georgia Tech, while defensive end Joshua Kaindoh missed most of the second half.

“He’s been working hard,” defensive ends coach John Papuchis said of Kaindoh. “He’s been doing everything that he can possibly do through his rehab process. He’s out there, I see him, he’s working. We’ll see. I’m not going to make any determinations on whether he will or won’t be able to go still this far out. I know he’s working hard every day, and his mindset is to put himself in the best position he possibly can to help us out.”

Kaindoh would be a much-needed piece of FSU’s defensive game plan for Saturday’s game against Miami. The 6-foot-7, 265-pound Kaindoh would be helpful in setting the edge as the Seminoles look to contain a mobile quarterback in D’Eriq King, who ran 12 times for 83 yards and a touchdown against UAB but was held to eight carries for nine yards at Louisville.

“Pass rush, lane awareness is going to be critical,” Papuchis said. “We’ve got to do a great job of collapsing the pocket, pushing the pocket and working as a four-man unit to rush the passer. You want to be able to rush him, but you’ve got to be able to do it with discipline where you’re not creating rush lanes. It’s a challenge any time you play a mobile quarterback, especially a mobile quarterback that has so much poise inside the pocket.”

If Kaindoh can’t play, FSU could turn to redshirt freshman Quashon Fuller.

Earlier in the week, coach Mike Norvell and defensive coordinator Adam Fuller were asked about Nasirildeen’s availability. Nasirildeen had 101 tackles in 2019 before injuring his knee in the Florida game on Nov. 30.

“Ham’s still progressing,” Fuller said. “He’s working his butt off. He wants to be back as soon as possible.”

FSU would likely turn to Renardo Green and Travis Jay as options at safety if Nasirildeen can not play. Green was second on the team with nine tackles in FSU’s loss to Georgia Tech.

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