The Daily Nole

FSU Football: Five Notable Noles Who Suffered Career-Ending Injuries

FSU athletics

Earlier this week, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said that the career of junior defensive end Lorenzo Featherston might be over as the result of a knee injury.

Despite being lean for his position at 6-7 and 230 pounds, Featherston made an impact as a freshman in 2014, recording 19 tackles, including five for loss. Featherston fought the nagging injury last season and finished with just four tackles.

FSU and football fans alike should wish Featherston nothing but the best as he hopes to return to the field. If Featherston is unable to return however, he wouldn’t be the first Seminole to have his career end with an injury. Here are five other notable Noles whose last game in garnet and gold ended in injury:

Brandon Jenkins (2009-12)
After recording 21.5 sacks over his sophomore and junior seasons, defensive end Brandon Jenkins passed up a chance to leave early for the NFL to return for a senior season at Florida State. Unfortunately for Jenkins, that senior season would last just a half. Though he recorded a sack in a 69-3 victory over Murray State in the 2012 opener, Jenkins suffered a foot injury that ended his FSU career. Jenkins would go on to be selected in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, but recorded just one career tackle.

Darius McClure (2005-08)
Safety Darius McClure was used primarily as a reserve and a special teams player during his first three years at Florida State before taking over as the team’s starting free safety as a senior in 2008. During a 27-17 November loss that season to Boston College however, McClure tore a ligament in his knee while celebrating his first career interception. With football in the past, McClure now makes his living as senior pastor at Christ Church in Fairfield, Alabama.

Matt Meinrod (2001-05)
Matt Meinrod started 19 games at guard during his Florida State career and was known for his ability to bench press the weight room. After starting all 13 games as a sophomore in 2003, Meinrod suffered a knee injury during FSU’s season-opening loss to Miami in 2004. Meinrod was awarded a medical redshirt for the 2005 season and had emerged as FSU’s best interior lineman up front. After helping the Seminoles to a 4-0 start and a top 5 ranking, Meinrod suffered a career-ending leg injury during a 41-24 October victory over Wake Forest.

Burt “Buddy” Reynolds (1954-57)
Known much more for his award-winning acting, Burt Reynolds once had a promising football career ahead of him. After scoring two touchdowns as a freshman in 1954, Reynolds was sidelined by a knee injury that forced him to miss all of the 1955 season. Reynolds returned to the Seminoles in 1957, but another injury forced him to call it quits. Reynolds however, has been a big supporter of the university and its athletic programs.

Chris Thompson (2009-12)
After a vertebrate injury in 2011 almost ended running back Chris Thompson’s career, Thompson was one of college football’s feel-good stories in 2012. Thompson was averaging 7.5 yards per carry and was on pace to become the first FSU player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season in 16 years. Thompson appeared to be on his way to a fourth 100-yard rushing effort on Oct. 20 at rival Miami before going down with a knee injury. Fortunately for Thompson, he has been able to make a career of football. In two seasons as a change-of-pace back with the Washington Redskins, Thompson has averaged six yards per carry and has caught three career touchdowns.

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