Recruit Roundup: Offensive Line

After a less-than-stellar showing Saturday night by the offensive line against the No. 1 program in the country, Oklahoma, NoleDigest.com takes a look at offensive line recruiting for both the 2012 and 2013 classes. Is help around the corner?

The Players

Andrew Datko (Senior)

Zebrie Sanders (Senior)

David Spurlock (Senior)

Jacob Fahrenkrug (Junior)

Garrett Faircloth (Sophomore)

Bryan Stork (Sophomore)

Henry Orelus (Sophomore)

Daniel Foose (RS Freshman)

Josue Matias (Freshman)

Bobby Hart (Freshman)

Tre' Jackson (Freshman)

Ruben Carter (Freshman)

Sterling Lovelady (Freshman)

Austin Barron (Freshman)

Trey Pettis (Freshman)

With 15 scholarship players, Florida State is at full strength along the offensive line. It is an interesting blend of experience (three senior starters) and youth (seven true freshmen). Thus far this season, the results have been mixed. FSU fans have seen plus pass protection, but run blocking has been below average. The hope is this unit will continue to improve as they get more reps together and come back from injuries.

There is no question that the future at the position is wide open. Looking ahead to 2012, the only thing we can say for certain is that Stork and Fahrenkrug would seem to have a big edge for two interior jobs. The other starting spots, Las Vegas could make a killing on predicting who wins those battles. We have seen glimpses only of Faircloth and Orelus.

The Recruits

Committed

Alphonse Taylor

Targets

Andrus Peat

Evan Goodman

The Seminoles targeted Taylor early, and they secured a verbal commitment. They have shown to be ahead of the curve here, as Taylor's stock continues to rise as more people see him. The easiest way to describe him is massive with a lot of athleticism. It is likely that he will start at offensive tackle, preferably left tackle, but a move to guard down the road is also possible.

Peat is the prospect that could ease a lot of fans minds if he was to commit to FSU. He is widely regarded as one of the top offensive tackles in the country, and he is likely to see the field early whereever he ends up. There are family connections to Tallahassee, and the 'Noles are in real good shape here.

Goodman took an official visit last weekend, so the interest level is high on both ends. His brother signed with Arizona State a year ago, and that is seen as a big obstacle for other schools. He is committed there, as well. The good news is that he is open enough to visit, his interest is high and FSU recruits Polk County well. Stay tuned.

We think the number is two here, with a shot at three if all goes perfect. If FSU misses and only signs one prospect in the 2012 class, the position will be a bigger need in 2013. There is also a chance that we see a "Rick Trickett special" down the stretch. Senior film might determine that, but it would probably mean the Seminoles missed on both of the above.

The "Future" Future

There is no question that the 2012 edition of FSU football is projected to be LOADED at most positions -- the offensive line is the lone holdout. Barring injury this year, it looks like this will be the spot watched most closely next Spring to see how it shakes out.

Almost certainly, Florida State will need two new offensive tackles, and those players will have little experience. Faircloth, Matias, Hart, and Foose are the main candidates at this time for those spots.

It is important to remember that FSU sits at a perfect number of 15 right now, with only four of them who will use up their eligibility over the next two cycles. In recruiting terms, that means only four would be needed in 2012 and 2013. However, history has shown that a few offensive linemen choose to transfer. Taking that into consideration, we look for the number to be five, perhaps six over two years.

Bottom Line

The offensive line is going to have to be better the rest of the way for FSU to reach its goals. We expect that to happen starting this week against Clemson. While there is some uncertainty moving forward, it is not due to a lack of bodies. Ideally, Florida State would not have to play the 2011 group in Year 2, but that seems unavoidable. On the plus side, that group is a physically-developed one already.

Landing offensive tackles seems to be the priority moving forward, and a good place to start would be right down the road at Timmy Jernigan's school: Lake City Columbia. At this point, it appears that the No. 1 offensive tackle in the state resides there in Laremy Tunsil. A Peat and Tunsil combo would solidify the future.

There is still some recruiting to be done here, but overall FSU appears to be in good shape for the future.


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