TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- He hasn't made the immediate impact his recruiting pedigree may have suggested, but Mario Edwards Jr. is slowly working his way into a more significant role as the season progresses.
The former top recruit has seen only limited action on defense thus far, but he was in on several key snaps against USF, including making a tackle on a short screen to running back Lindsey Lamar in the third quarter.
"We've got to continue to make him grow," Jimbo Fisher said. "It was a weird game to get him a lot of snaps because every possession was pretty critical there for a long time. But he's really developing."
Edwards arrived at FSU heralded by scouts but checking in at nearly 300 pounds -- a bit too heavy for the role he was expected to play for the Seminoles.
In the three months since, however, Edwards has dropped nearly 20 pounds and Fisher said it's clear the freshman is making big strides, particularly in defending the run.
"He's really moving so much better right now," Fisher said.
Fisher hopes to get Edwards down to about 275 pounds, but he said as Edwards gets older, it's not unreasonable to think he could add most of that weight back on and still play with the same quickness.
For now, Edwards remains a work in progress, but Fisher said he's making strides each week.
"He's going to be a really good player," Fisher said. "We've just got to keep bringing him."
Jenkins update: Fisher said injured defensive end Brandon Jenkins remains upbeat and is making minor progress in his rehab from a lisfranc fracture, but the senior is still unable to put significant weight on his foot.
Jenkins suffered the injury in FSU's opener against Murray State and will miss the remainder of the season. He was projected as a surefire draft pick prior to the injury -- likely in the first three rounds -- but could return for a fifth season at Florida State if his stock falls too far following his rehab.
"That'll be a decision at the end of the season what he wants to do, if he's ready for the NFL," Fisher said. "We'll probably have to wait and see how they perceive him and what goes on. We'll have that discussion later. Right now we're just worried about making sure he's healthy."
Kicker Dustin Hopkins rebounded from a rough game against Clemson to connect on three field goals and was named the conference's top specialist, and center Bryan Stork graded out at a 77, according to the ACC release, and was named the conference's top offensive lineman for the week.
"Stork's done a great job," EJ Manuel said. "He's what you want as a lineman. He's one of Coach Trickett's favorites. He's one of those nitty-gritty kinds of guys that you want to have as your center. No matter what, he's going to be ready to play.