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Seminoles freshman DE Josh Sweat (ACL) set to play in opener

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Former five-star recruit Josh Sweat, once the top-ranked high school player nationally, will play in Florida State's season opener less than a year after major reconstructive knee surgery.

Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said Sweat, a 6-foot-5, 237-pound defensive end, has recovered from a torn ACL and dislocation in his left knee and is preparing to play Sept. 5 against Texas State.

"He'll be ready to play and is healthy enough to play," Fisher said Thursday. "He hasn't missed a practice, hasn't missed nothing."

Sweat suffered the devastating knee injury Sept. 19 as a senior at Oscar Frommel Smith High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. He had surgery on Oct. 7.

At the time of his injury, Sweat was the No. 1 player in the ESPN 300 following a dominant performance -- he ran a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash -- at The Opening, an invite-only camp for the nation's best high school players. He finished No. 11 in ESPN RecruitingNation's player rankings.

Two months later, Sweat committed to Florida State and enrolled at the university in January. Sweat missed all of spring practice, and Fisher said in March he was not sure whether Sweat would play at all his freshman year.

Sweat was participating only in individual drills when Florida State opened preseason camp earlier this month, but after a few practices he was a full participant. Fisher said Sweat has not suffered any soreness or setbacks.

"That guy is so strong. He's 237 pounds and doesn't look it. It looks like he's about 220, but everything on him is just so powerful," Fisher said earlier this month. "He can hit and bend and he's got burst and can run."

Florida State finished 108th in sacks last season, registering only 14. During their national championship season in 2013, the Seminoles secured 35 sacks, which ranked 19th. The Seminoles hope Sweat will provide the pass rush that was missing all of last season and caused a precipitous drop in nearly every defensive ranking for Florida State.

Also, redshirt junior defensive end Chris Casher, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery after an Aug. 9 injury, returned to practice Thursday. Sophomore Lorenzo Featherston, who underwent the same procedure, is still sidelined and could miss the opener.