Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State junior cornerback Antonio Cromartie will miss the 2005 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during voluntary workouts Tuesday evening. Cromartie, a preseason first team All-American, had an MRI Wednesday morning and head trainer Randy Oravetz confirmed the injury and said Cromartie will undergo surgery to repair the knee next week.
Cromartie, who attended Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, tied for second last year in the ACC with four interceptions. He was also responsible for two defensive touchdowns. Sophomore J.R. Bryant will move up to first team at left cornerback opposite senior Gerard Ross to start fall practice.
QUOTES FROM DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR MICKEY ANDREWS
"You are going to have some unexpected things like this happen. Sometimes it's academics, sometimes it's injuries. He told me he was out here working on his preparations and just went up for a ball, got his feet tied up and landed awkwardly.
It's disappointing for him and it's disappointing for our team. He was right there on the verge of becoming a dominating player. He's a preseason All-American so obviously it's a big loss for us.
You never know what the plan is. Maybe it was for him to earn his degree, be an All-American next year and then move on to the NFL as a redshirt junior. It is how you handle setbacks that is important. He'll bounce back from this.
What it does now is open up an opportunity for one of the other cornerbacks to become a starter. One of those guys is going to have to find a way to become a dependable starter.
We'll probably open up practice with Gerard Ross and J.R. Bryant as the starting cornerbacks. The freshmen (Tony Carter, Trevor Ford and Joe Manning) will be given an opportunity to prove that they deserve one of the starting jobs.
In 1993, we lost two defensive backs before the season even started with Corey Fuller and Steve Gilmer going down. Antonio has a little setback right now. We've got great surgeons, great rehab people, and he has a great work ethic. He will still have a role on this year's team. Even though he won't be playing, he'll still be in meetings and out here at practice helping these young guys get better."
QUOTES FROM JUNIOR CORNERBACK ANTONIO CROMARTIE
"Of course I'm really disappointed that I won't be able to play this year. I think we have a very good team that is capable of winning a national championship and I wanted to help be a part of that. We can still get to the Rose Bowl because there are some very good young players in the secondary. They just have to step up now."
The thing that is the most frustrating is I really worked hard this offseason because I want to be one of the best corners in the country. I felt like I was in the best condition I've ever been in. You just have to believe that things happen for a reason though. Now I will work on getting my degree and doing rehab on my knee.
I still plan on being involved with team in terms of meetings and practices. I talked with Coach Andrews about that earlier today. I want to help out however I can even if I'm not playing. I'll go to meetings and try to help out the young guys and then go out to practice to help them out with things I might see with their technique."
I feel like if I do everything the trainers and doctors tell me to do, I'll be back ready to go for next season."
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