Florida State returns a pair of experienced Offensive Tackles in Andrew Datko and Zebrie Sanders. Datko is still recovering from shoulder surgery, but appears on the right track to recovery. He is reportedly over 300 pounds and will enter his senior season on many draft radars. Having an experienced Left Tackle for Manuel in his first year as a full-time starter is an ideal situation.
Sanders has also been limited this off-season, but is another anchor of the OL at Right Tackle. Sanders should continue on his upward trajectory as he was very impressive at times as a junior. He is another prospect for the next level that the NFL will be watching closely.
Sophomore Garrett Faircloth and redshirt freshmen Danny Foose are returning tackles. Faircloth flew under the radar as a recruit and has somewhat at FSU, but he is a capable starter at this point and excellent depth. Foose should benefit from another year in the weight room and under Coach Trickett's tutelage.
The interior of the offensive line is much less certain. FSU must replace a pair of long-time starters in Rodney Hudson and Ryan McMahon. Senior David Spurlock missed significant time last season with a concussion. He has been given a clean bill of health and is expected to get a long look at Center. He has been a terrific guard and should be able to handle Center given his skill set.
Fahrenkrug is a JUCO player that comes in with quite a bit of buzz. He was recruited to help immediately and early reports are that he has an outstanding work ethic. Sophomore's Stork and Orelus started games last year, you can bet both want to start more.
Juniors Sanderson and Snider are running out of time. With the guard spots open, it is time both make their move. Snider is in a boot right now, but expected to be fine. We had heard several reports that he was ready to step up. Sanderson has needed to add some weight. He has the athleticism and feet that you look for.
An influx of bodies arrive in freshmen early enrollee's Jordan Prestwood, Sterling Lovelady, and Trey Pettis. As a potential Left Tackle, Prestwood is considered one of the gems of the class. He'll need some weight and strength, but his ceiling is a high one.
Lovelady is expected to compete immediately at Center. Of course he lacks ideal size, he should be high school, but he is technically sound and the weight will come in Coach Viloria's weight training program. Pettis is another player that will get a look at Center as well as the Guard spots. He had a solid week at the UA game.
Last year's Offensive Line received some pre-season accolades and despite some injuries had a solid 2010 season. Hudson will be a legend, legends are hard to replace. McMahon had some terrific games in his career as well.
It is hard to say the OL would be "better" considering those losses, but there are some good options to replace them. The return of the two OTs plus a healthy Spurlock is a heck of a start.
Bottom line this unit should once again be one of the top groups in the ACC and perhaps be better than that. The battle at guard should be fun to watch.