The loss of defensive end/outside linebacker Joshua Kaindoh (ankle) is a difficult one for Florida State, which is seeking help from versatile pass rushers who can also defend the run.
Janarius Robinson is the likely starter for FSU on Saturday against Louisville (3:30 p.m. on ESPN). Beyond Robinson, the Seminoles are taking a look at a large group of veterans – and likely some younger prospects.
Among the options that coaches are evaluating are seniors like Adonis Thomas and Josh Brown. Thomas and Brown each saw more playing time after Kaindoh’s injury in Saturday’s loss at Virginia.
“Josh has been doing a really good job, especially on special teams,” Taggart said. “Janarius has been the same for us, had a good week of practice. Adonis, too. Those guys have been waiting their turn. Those guys want to step up and help the football team as well.”
It’s also possible that FSU could turn to freshmen like Kevon Glenn or Derrick McLendon. FSU hasn’t released a depth chart ahead of the game against Louisville, but it will definitely be an area to watch against the Cardinals.
Williams’ status uncertain
Taggart said that left tackle Jauan Williams isn’t available “as of right now.” If Williams is unable to go, Abdul Bello would start.
Using a second QB
Taggart also hinted that FSU could use backup quarterback Alex Hornibrook in some capacity. Hornibrook has not thrown a pass in three games but Taggart thinks the Seminoles may have a chance to use the graduate transfer.
“Alex has been doing a good job for us,” Taggart said. “We have some plays and things where we want to be able to get Alex in, let him run some of those plays.”
Taggart was asked what he thought senior defensive analyst Jim Leavitt’s role would be in practices and games. The head coach said he wants Leavitt to support defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett however he can.
“It’s pretty much how Harlon wants to use him and help,” Taggart said. “Jim has a lot of experience and hopefully Harlon will lean on him.”
Taggart confirmed that wide receiver D.J. Matthews will be available to play.
FSU will play host to UMass in 2021, the school’s athletics director, Ryan Bamford, announced. That would be an intriguing matchup between the Seminoles and former offensive coordinator Walt Bell.
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