FSU coach Jimbo Fisher announced Monday that Chris Thompson is out for the year with a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2012 season.
Thompson, a senior and the Seminoles' leading rusher, was injured in the second quarter of FSU's 33-20 win over Miami when he was tackled around the legs at the tail end of a 32-yard reception.
"He was upset, very disappointed," Fisher said during his weekly news conference. "Having a great year, doing everything right. He's what's right about college football. But this game takes no prisoners, it's a very unforgiving game."
The injury could put an end to Thompson's productive and injury-riddled college career. With 687 yards through seven games, Thompson, who had a decorated prep career about 50 miles east of Tallahassee at Madison County High, was on pace to become the program's first 1,000-yard rusher since Warrick Dunn in 1996.
"The leadership, the presence, the poise, the guy is everything," Fisher said. "He's actually better now coming off the back injury than he has ever been. He felt better now than he felt at the beginning of the year.
"It's unfortunate. It hurts me for him, it really does."
In 38 career games, Thompson has rushed for 1,735 yards and 14 touchdowns along with 45 receptions for 430 yards and a touchdown. Thompson missed the final eight games of the 2011 season with two broken vertebrae suffered in FSU's 35-30 loss to Wake Forest.
Fisher said they would explore any options to earn Thompson another year of eligibility but wasn't aware of any particular rule that would allow that as of Monday.
Thompson and Fisher received the news from the doctor on Sunday night and word spread to Thompson's teammates quickly.
"It's tough," quarterback EJ Manuel said. "I feel bad for him. He's like a brother to me. ... I texted him last night and told him that I love him and I wished him the best.
"For (his year) to be cut short like that, he's tough to see."
Thompson posted a statement to his Facebook page on Sunday night: "(I) Just wanna let everyone know I'm ok. I'm living, we just beat Miami for the third year in a row. What more can I ask for. God allows everything to happen for a reason. No reason for me to be down about it because "there's a blessing in every lesson." C4 gets knocked down but i live to play another day. Never forget that."
Sophomores James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman, who will pick up the majority of the carries in Thompson's absence, were strong in relief on Saturday. Fisher said Wilder will be listed as the No. 1 tailback but that he and Freeman will split carries going forward. Freeman rushed 10 times for 70 yards and two touchdowns while Wilder added 49 yards and a score on eight carries. Freeman led the Seminoles with 579 rushing yards when Thompson was sidelined in 2011.
Versatile fullback Lonnie Pryor could see some increased work as a ballcarrier as well. The senior has 24 carries - three short of his career high - and has already amassed career best in yards (163) and touchdowns (6).
"It's a very big blow to us because of what he is to our team," Fisher said. "But we also have two quality guys in Wilder and Freeman behind him who played very well in that game and you have to move on."