Did FSU Not Need Jermaine Johnson II and Keir Thomas?

Okay… The question presented in the title might been somewhat of an exaggeration. However, in the offseason, Florida State fans were questioning whether or not this defensive line could generate enough pressure after defensive ends Jermaine Johnson II and Keir Thomas exceeded their eligibilities. Both pass rushers combined to have have 18.5 sacks during the 2021 season for the Seminoles. The defense as a whole combined to have 33 sacks in 12 games.

Coming into the 2022 season, redshirt sophomore Derrick McLendon II was the leading returning sack leader from the previous year. The question remained: “Who would emerge as a viable pass rusher for the Seminoles?” Could it be high-touted defensive end transfer Jared Verse from Albany? What about a surprising contributor?

It has certainly been a collective effort from the Seminoles’ pass rush this season as 14 different players have recorded a sack.

  • DE Jared Verse (7.5)
  • DE Patrick Payton (4)
  • DE Derrick McLendon II (3.5)
  • LB Kalen DeLoach (3)
  • LB Tatum Bethune (2.5)
  • DE Dennis Briggs Jr. (2)
  • DT Malcolm Ray (2)
  • DT Joshua Farmer (2)
  • LB DJ Lundy (1.5)
  • DB Shyheim Brown (1.5)
  • DE Leonard Warner III (1.5)
  • DT Fabien Lovett Sr. (1)
  • LB Amari Gainer (1)
  • LB Brendan Gant (1)

With a bowl game still to be played, this Seminole defense has accumulated 34 sacks in 12 games this season.