The FSU offensive line that paved the way for just over a half-mile of rushing yards in 2012 returns 99% intact and ready to dominate in 2013. With the Noles breaking in a new starting quarterback after the departure of EJ Manuel to the NFL, it seems that the x-factor of the upcoming season will be the play of the offensive line. At any level of football, from pee-wee to the pros, the offense line’s ability (or lack thereof) to dominate a game can make or break a season.
The 2013 edition of the FSU trench warriors will be mean, nasty, and most importantly with the return of four starters, experienced. Sophomore left tackle Cameron Erving, a former defesnive lineman-turned blocking machine, returns to anchor the line. Sophomore Bobby Hart and freshman Trey Pettis are battling for the right tackle spot, while sophomores Tre Jackson and Josue Matias are holding down the spots at guard. At the all-important center position, redshirt junior Bryan Stork returns as the incumbent for spring.
While the offensive line has loads of talent and experience, it’s about as thin as a paper towel. (I’m not talking about the good quality paper towel either, I mean like the type you pick up at the gas station on the way home from work because your wife told you to.) The eight or nine man rotation is very good, and the starters could prove to be one of the best units in the ACC, if not the entire country. The problem here is that if the Noles get the injury bug up front, it would not only decimate the offensive line, but the entire season as well.
Returning For Spring: (Class year denotes 2012-13 season)
Name Yr. Ht./Wt.
Austin Barron SO 6’3″/295
Ruben Carter FR 6’5″/285
Cameron Erving SO (RS) 6’5″/304
Jacob Fahrenkrug SR 6’4″/317 (Granted Extra Year / Out For Spring)
Daniel Foose SO 6’6″/296 (Out For Spring)
Bobby Hart SO 6’5″/314
Tre Jackson SO 6’4″/325
Sterling Lovelady SO 6’2″/290
Josue Matias SO 6’6″/325
Trey Pettis FR 6’5″/342
Bryan Stork JR (RS) 6’4″/312
Who To Watch: Sophomore tackle Bobby Hart arrived at Florida State highly touted from the St. Thomas Aquinas football factory in Ft. Lauderdale. Due to the need for bodies on the offensive line during his freshman season in 2011, Hart was thrown into the fire at an early age (literally, he was only 17 during his freshman season). This season Hart is poised to have a breakout year. He has had time to adjust to the speed of the college game and has all of the physical tools (6’5″/314) to dominate the right side of the line for thee Noles. If Hart can put it all together for his junior season this fall, the Seminoles may well be steamrolling opponents on the ground en route to another ACC title.
Offensive Tackle Cam Erving Talks Spring Ball:
[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvndyDkyijM” autohide=”1″]
Video Courtesy of The Florida State University Athletic Department and Seminoles.com
Next Up On 4/3: Running Backs