Injuries taking toll on OL

If the losses to long-time starters Rodney Hudson and Ryan McMahon were not enough, several players who were expected to step up in the Spring have also been injured. The good news is that none of the injuries are serious, but it does make next Saturday's Spring game a little lean on the offensive front.

Starting tackles Andrew Datko and Zebrie Sanders have been held out of Spring mostly for pre-cautionary reasons. Their loss is not considered a big deal because each has started double digit games in their career.

Blake Snider had seemingly turned the corner based on several sources during this off-season, but he too has been held out of Spring. His loss is more significant because of the opportunity he had to impress this Spring and to claim, if not a starters spot, a part of the rotation. His injury is not expected to linger, but he certainly could have used the reps this Spring.

Rhonne Sanderson has played, even started, for FSU and like Snider he really had an opportunity to grab a bigger role in the Spring. He is a versatile linemen that could have helped the depth at both tackle and guard.

David Spurlock was a starting guard until a concussion shut him down last year. He was expected to grab the starting Center spot in the Spring and recently had done just that. His experience is invaluable and we believe playing Center would have really helped him with his NFL aspirations. Bad news struck when Spurlock was shut down with some headaches. It is unclear if those are related to the concussion, but it certainly is something to keep an eye on going forward. A players health is treated with utmost concern and only time will tell here going forward.

The injuries have over-shadowed the Spring's break-out performer, JUCO transfer Jacob Fahrenkrug. By all accounts FSU landed a gem here and he was seen taking snaps at Center yesterday(out of need). The buzz is so strong on Fahrenkrug that many think he has the chance to head to the NFL after just one year. It appears as if FSU will not have to wait long to get a player of Hudson's caliber.

With Spurlock's injury, Bryan Stork becomes the favorite to move over from Guard to Center. He has progressed each year he has been on campus and should be ready to take on any role. In a perfect world, Spurlock is healthy and ready to play which allows Stork to grab one of the starting guard spots.

With the tackles out, Garrett Faircloth has been able to get a bunch of reps and he continues to progress. The high school DT has taken to Trickett's coaching and figures to have an increased role in 2011, perhaps as a Swing Tackle.

Another player who has some versatility is Henry Orelus. He has had reps all over the line in his time at FSU and the sophomore is entering his money years. He is a worker.

Jordan Prestwood, Trey Pettis, and Sterling Lovelady are freshmen early enrollee's and it is HUGE that they did arrive in January because they are providing some much needed bodies. Prestwood and Lovelady need to get bigger and stronger while Pettis needs to re-shape himself.

We count only seven scholarship linemen who are not injured: Fahrenkrug, Stork, Orelus, Faircloth, Prestwood, Pettis, and Lovelady. Jacob Stanley is perhaps the most talented walk-on. The lack of numbers will make it difficult in the Spring game for the offense to succeed. FSU's front seven is very talented and they should have their way in the trenches.

The good news is that the injuries are not serious(Spurlock might be the exception) and Spring is for practice and the above seven are being worked harder and getting more reps than they probably should. Over the long-term this will not only help depth, but will make those players better.

Four more players join this group in the Summer and that should put an end to any depth concerns. Josue Matias, Bobby Hart, Tre Jackson, and Ruben Carter are all highly coveted recruits.


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