FSU’s Mario Pender declared academically ineligible

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State tailback Mario Pender was hoping to rebound this season from a sports hernia injury that he suffered in the 2012 preseason.

But Pender has been declared academically ineligible, coach Jimbo Fisher said after Thursday’s practice.

Pender was expected to challenge for the No. 3 tailback spot behind juniors James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman. But now true freshman Ryan Green steps in and will see carries as a reserve.

FSU also has senior fullback Chad Abram, but Fisher has said that he will often use a “Pony” formation that features both Wilder and Freeman on the field at the same time.

Pender, a four-star prospect who ran for 1,543 yards and 17 touchdowns as a high school senior, will remain enrolled in school and can practice with the team.