TALLAHASSEE — As has long been expected, end Bjoern Werner, one of Florida State's top defenders, said Thursday he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
Werner earned all-conference and consensus All-America honors. With 40 tackles and an ACC-leading 13 sacks, he was one of the biggest contributors to FSU's defense this season. The unit entered Tuesday night's Orange Bowl ranked No. 2 in the nation.
Werner had been saying that he and his wife had come to a decision, but they wanted to wait until after the bowl in case their minds changed.
"I'm grateful to Coach (Jimbo) Fisher and Florida State for giving me the opportunity to be a Seminole and play for one of the top college football programs in the country," Werner said. "I've learned so much from the coaches and have been able to play with some of the best players in the country. I've enjoyed my time at FSU and will cherish the time I spent as a Seminole."
A native of Berlin, Werner came to the U.S. to compete at the all-boys Salisbury Prep School in Salisbury, Conn. He came to FSU in 2010 and was an instant contributor as a true freshman. For the past two seasons, he anchored a defensive line that likely will see five NFL draft picks this year.
Draft analysts have declared Werner a likely top-five pick, possibly at No. 2.
The Seminoles also said that junior safety Lamarcus Joyner will return for senior season.
AUBURN: Former Bucs assistant Rich Bisaccia was named special teams and running backs coach. Bisaccia was Tampa Bay's special teams coach from 2002-10 and had the same job with the Chargers the past two seasons. Also, former quarterback and FSU quarterbacks coach Dameyune Craig was named co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
CHARLESTON SOUTHERN: Coach Jay Mills resigned after 10 seasons. Mills, 51, was 48-63 at the school, the most wins in program history.
EAST CAROLINA: Brian Mitchell is out after three seasons as defensive coordinator.
MICHIGAN ST.: Running back Le'Veon Bell will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft. Bell, who rushed for 1,793 yards on 382 carries this season, is considered one of the strongest backs in a relatively weak draft at the position.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Quarterback Connor Shaw has left foot surgery scheduled today.
VIRGINIA: Coach Mike London hired former Boston College and North Carolina State head coach Tom O'Brien to be his associate head coach for offense and coach tight ends, Jon Tenuta to be his associate head coach for defense and defensive coordinator, and Jeff Banks to coach special teams and running backs.