TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Dalvin Cook’s recovery is right on schedule. So said Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, who addressed several topics surrounding the FSU football team in a Wednesday morning teleconference. The Seminoles have a handful of questions to answer before kicking off against Mississippi on Labor Day, but none might be greater than the health of their star running back.
Cook had shoulder surgery earlier this month and missed the Garnet and Gold Spring Game. Fisher, though, said that Cook is on track to return this summer. Fall camp opens in August.
“He’s doing fine,” Fisher said. “His recovery is going very well. He’ll be in that sling for another week or so and then he’ll start the rehab stuff. But everything came out great.”
That news aligns with Fisher’s prognosis a few weeks ago, but it’s still a sigh of relief for the Seminoles.
Cook set a school record with 1,691 rushing yards a year ago, and will likely enter his junior season on the short list for several national awards.
“He’ll be running full speed in training when June comes in,” Fisher said. “And when the first day of camp comes he’ll be running and doing things and be ready to go when August comes in.
“He’ll be ready to roll.”
Featherston likely to be medically disqualified
The news wasn’t as good for junior defensive end Lorenzo Featherston. Fisher confirmed Wednesday that Featherston is likely to be medically disqualified due to a knee injury.
A medical disqualification means that Featherston’s college football career would be over, but that FSU would still honor his scholarship and allow him to complete his degree.
“It’s something that, most likely, he will,” Fisher said. “Unfortunately, because he was actually playing very well for us. But that’s just an unfortunate part of football.”
Featherston had his greatest success as a freshman, when he racked up 19 tackles and five tackles for loss on his way to All-Freshman team honors from Campus Insiders and College Football News.
Featherston’s knee injury, however, slowed him down as a sophomore and allowed him to appear in just four games in 2015.
Fisher seeks ‘best chance to win’ from QBs
While Sean Maguire’s extensive experience may be his biggest advantage in FSU’s impending quarterback race this fall, Fisher said that it’s hardly the only thing he has going for him.
Maguire, Fisher believes, is plenty talented and can hold his own against young upstarts Deondre Francois, Malik Henry and J.J. Cosentino.
The fifth-year senior missed the spring with an ankle injury, but will be back in the mix this fall.
“People say experience, but people act like Sean is not very talented. Sean has a great arm and can move and do great things. But Deondre is very talented. Malik is very talented. J.J. is talented. So we’ll wait and see how that comes out.”
Fisher said that whichever of that quartet gives FSU the best chance to beat Ole Miss is the one that will start under center.
“You have to look at who gives you the best chance to be successful in the game,” he said. “At the bottom line, that’s what it gets down to.”
High-profile opener gives Noles extra motivation
With a primetime, neutral-site game against a Southeastern Conference opponent to start the season, the Seminoles likely won’t have any room to stumble out of the gate.
While that reality can bring higher expectations, Fisher said it also boosts the team’s motivation level as it moves into the summer months.
“It will be very critical for us to have a great summer,” he said. “We open up with Ole Miss, so … I think that gives you some inspiration and some encouragement to make sure that we’ve got to be ready right out of the gate.”
The Ole Miss game starts what should be a challenging September. After returning home to face Charleston Southern, the Seminoles hit the road for back-to-back games at Louisville and South Florida.
“Our schedule gets very tough, right off the beginning,” Fisher said.
FSU is beginning the season in primetime and away from home for the third time in four seasons. The Seminoles won at Pittsburgh, 41-13, on Labor Day to start the 2013 season. A year later, they beat Oklahoma State, 37-31, in Dallas.