Say Hello to Matt Heinz

Sophomore Matt Heinz has been here, there and everywhere on Florida State's depth chart. A versatile player who looks to contribute this season, Heinz is now at split guard. He worked with the first- and second-team units in Saturday's scrimmage. "The offense is not looking jelled yet but I saw a lot of good things that I know we can build on," Heinz said.

Florida State's offensive line has gone from team strength to team question mark. That's not a surprise after losing four starters from last year's team. But don't fret.

There's plenty of optimism coming from returning players. In tackles Ray Willis and Alex Barron, FSU has two players who combined for 13 starts last season. Center David Castillo and guards Bobby Meeks and Matt Heinz each have starting experience.

Heinz, in fact, just might be the most versatile player in the group.

The 6-4, 270-pound sophomore from nearby North Florida Christian has already played a number of positions for the Semioles, from tight end to center to guard to tackle. He worked with the first- and second-teams at split guard in Saturday's half-scrimmage a Doak Campbell Stadium.

"It was really good," Heinz said of the session.

"The offense is not looking jelled yet but I saw a lot of good things that I know we can build on. We are all working in there to get better."

FSU coach Bobby Bowden has been quick to point out that rebuilding the Seminoles' offensive line is a huge key this season. But he's also quick to point out that "you have skill" along the line. Bowden is absolutely correct, according to Heinz.

"What it is, we are all strong, big and athletic," Heinz said. "We just have to play together. I think there's going to be more team unity and togetherness on this year's line than it has been in the past. All the guys came here together and have grown up in this system. We are like family out there. We have it together in our personal lives, now we just have to put it together on the field."

Patience is expected also to be important in that regard, since FSU had just one experienced tackle - Ron Lunford - available for the entire scrimmage Saturday. Willis also watched from the sidelines and Barron was limited.

Still, Heinz is looking to make an impact this season. He saw considerable playing time over the last five games last season. He saw action at tackle in three games (Wake Forest,Georgia Tech and Florida) when Montrae Holland was lost to an ankle injury. He then battled Meeks at second-team guard.

"I think all we are lacking right now is experience - we have the right fundamentals," said Heinz, whose brother Roger, a heralded quarterback at North Florida Christian, has signed with North Carolina.

"Some of it is not knowing what to do because guys are playing new positions. We are learning pretty quick though we have less assignments than we had in the past. The biggest thing is working together and moving as a unit. We have all the skill and talent though. We just need to keep working hard."


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