November 14, 2012

Insider Report: Tank turning it up

On a defensive line studded with stars, including fellow defensive end Bjoern Werner, Tank Carradine has had no trouble making a name for himself.

Carradine is tied with Christian Jones for most tackles on the team with 64 stops on the year. Carradine also leads the team in sacks with nine. He is second on the team behind Werner in tackles for loss with 12.5.

"His effort is ridiculous," Coach Jimbo Fisher said. "He's got a motor."

Carradine's stat line looks the way it does because of his constant effort and his desire to follow the ball and make a tackle to end a play. He's not content until the job is done. Coaches from his youth leagues up through college taught him the importance of running to the ball and making plays there, where some other defensive ends wouldn't go.

"I know when you run to the ball, good things always happen," Carradine said. "You can make plays that are unexpected. You can make plays that people never thought you could make."

He feels like he has played football for such a long time that when offenses come at him, he has seen the look before and instinctually knows where to go and where the ball will go.

"I try to fly around and be all over the field, try to make plays, try to get the ball down on the field," Carradine said.

He did just that against Virginia Tech last Thursday, notching six tackles and one for loss as well as registering a sack.

"Tank is just a go-getter," linebacker Vince Williams said. "Both of Bjoern and Tank are very good…So if Bjoern is getting a lot of attention then Tank is going to get off. If Tank is getting a lot of attention, then Bjoern is going to go crazy. So I think Virginia Tech was focusing on Bjoern and then Tank was killing them."

Carradine wants to make every play, every tackle. He doesn't focus on stats, instead he looks at team goals and how his play-stopping can help the team get to where they want to be, including an ACC Championship. But while he doesn't focus on stats, his teammates are well aware of his dominating presence on the field.

"We knew for a fact," Williams said. "We were like 'Tank is a monster.' We used to tell people that all the time, but people can only go off of what they see and they had no real experience with Tank."

People have seen Tank now and opposing offenses have experienced what Williams and the Seminoles saw from their defensive end: a monster on the field.

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