Josh Sweat is a former composite 5-star 2015 recruit from Oscar Smith High in Roanoke Virginia.   He sustained a serious knee injury during his senior year at Oscar Smith but still managed to rack up 41 tackles, 5 tackles-for-a-loss, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 2 passes broken up, and 2 quarterback hurries as a true freshman last season, playing fresh off a surgically repaired knee.  Sweat came into 2016 with a clean bill of healthy and ready to dominate.  He started off this season against Ole Miss and Charleston Southern with 3 tackles, 1 tackle-for-a-loss, and 2 QB hurries.  Many folks in Tallahassee were hype to see Sweat setting the edge against Louisville’s incredible quarterback Lamar Jackson, but then a ominous rumor started to circulate throughout the FSU media circuit.

Josh Sweat hurt his knee in practice and did not make the team flight to Louisville.  Panic ensued on message boards from to  Seminole’ Fans were somewhat relieved this afternoon when Tomahawk Nation’s David Visser reported that Sweat’s father confirmed that Josh had caught a flight to Louisville and the injury wasn’t that serious.  Warchant also confirmed that Sweat was seen at FSU’s hotel walking around without a knee brace, sans a noticeable limp.

Sweat is not out of the woods however, Jimbo Fisher has not confirmed if Sweat will actually play and if he does, how much.  People outside of FSU’s camp may not know the true situation until kick-off.

I relayed this info to a friend of mine who will accompany me to the game tomorrow, his response?   “Meh. It’s not like they don’t have another 4-5 star waiting in the wings, chomping at the bit to be let loose and show how good he can be.  With or without James and Sweat I’m far more concerned about stopping FSU from scoring 30 than I am about us being able to do the same.”
I told him that was a garbage take, unfit for a critical thinking civil defense attorney.
He retorted in his normal sophisticated manner with, ” Lol. Really?  Tell me, Dave, because I’m sure you know. How many 4-5 star safeties and defensive ends are on FSUs roster who are not James & Sweat?”
I broke him down like this,
“You act like just because a kid was rated highly in HS that he is ready to step in for stars like James and Sweat.
First off, both of them have a versatile set of skills that can’t simply be replaced because there is some 4-star back up waiting in the wings.  Time on campus, in the weight room, game reps and practice reps matter.
For instance, Sweat is a Sophomore who came to FSU as a 5-star 225-pound DE/OLB, he has spent two summers in the Strength & Conditioning program and is now up to 250-pounds. His replacement, is Pugh, who was sharing reps with Sweat, and the two players were kept fresh throughout the games, therefore enabling such 2nd half comebacks which have become typical for FSU on the strength of its depth.
Now, 215-pound Brian Burns, a 5-star freshman who was used solely as a situational pass-rusher, will have to not only have to come in on pass plays, but also will be forced to split reps and play on running downs, where he is very undersized and may get exploited.
See how this isn’t just a video game where you say, oh no problem, I’ll just stick that 5-star freshman in and I’ll be fine.”
The point here is that even though FSU is stacked with 4 and 5 star players, losing both Sweat and James is a major factor that can’t just be poo-pooed away. Stay tuned during warm-ups for Sweat’s activity level, it may be the first indication as to whether Sweat will play or not, which is huge either way.


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Dave Lackford

Prosecutor at JCAO

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