After mostly putting off his academics in high school, Cornellius "Tank" Carradine has been behind the eight ball for most of his college career.
But after transferring from the junior college ranks in 2011, Carradine has impressed his teammates and coaches while gradually taking on a bigger and bigger role in the Florida State defense.
At 6'4 and 265 pounds with 4.6-second 40, he has almost ideal size for an NFL defensive end. With Brandon Jenkins going down to a season-ending injury in Week 1, Carradine had his chance to become a full-time starter.
Not only does he lead the ACC in sacks this season with nine, he also leads the Seminoles in tackles (64) and is second in tackles for loss (10).
As a result, he will likely go very early in next year's NFL Draft. This week, Dane Brugler of CBS Sports highlighted Carradine's play on his list of draft risers:
Against the Hokies, Carradine was outstanding and made his presence felt against both the run and the pass. He is a flexible athlete and looks fluid with his movements, using excellent lateral footwork to sidestep and flatten to close on the quarterback. Carradine plays with very good pad level and stays low to the ground, using his hands to rip and tear past the initial blocker with good bend. He sets the edge very well and has shown much improved discipline to read the backfield and make quick decisions in the run game, obviously becoming more aware with added experience.
Carradine will have at least one more chance to showcase his game with every NFL scout in America watching when Florida State hosts Florida in Tallahassee on Nov. 24.