Projected Starters: Cameron Erving, Josue Matias, Austin Barron, Tre' Jackson, Bryan Stork
The Skinny: Unquestionably the biggest disappointment on the entire team this past season, the offensive line currently has four players atop the depth chart that weren't there a year ago, and even the lone holdover, Stork, is playing right tackle now, not left guard or center like before. The key to the O-line is Erving, who is making the switch from defensive tackle to the all-important left tackle spot -- coach Jimbo Fisher tried to initiate the move last year and believes the 6-5, 304-pounder to be a future millionaire. Matias, Barron and Jackson were three of the four true freshmen that started against Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl, although the fourth, Hart, is on the outside looking in right now.
Stock Up: Fisher gave Erving seemingly all the first-team reps during spring practice and praised him every opportunity he got when talking to the media for weeks, but because reporters weren't permitted to watch more than the first 15-20 minutes of any workout, skeptics wondered if the third-year coach was simply spinning the story he wanted written. Nevertheless, Erving more than held his own down in and down out against All-American candidate Brandon Jenkins in the Garnet and Gold Game, so perhaps Fisher was telling the truth after all.
Stock Flat: Barron had dizzying highs and cavernous lows out of high school, earning his first career start and looking fairly dominant Nov. 3 at Boston College but then playing so poorly the next week he had to be pulled from the game vs. Miami. While the Fort Lauderdale product is the only natural center in Garnet and Gold these days and has the inside track on the starting job for the next three years, Fisher has suggested that Barron isn't necessarily leaps and bounds ahead of Lovelady at this point.
Stock Down: As a 17-year-old true freshman, Hart got the nod at left tackle Oct. 8 at Wake Forest after four-year starter Andrew Datko couldn't go anymore due to a recurring shoulder injury, and eventually Hart settled in at right tackle the rest of the way. There were more misses than hits for the St. Thomas Aquinas High School alumnus in 2011, and after watching him get manhandled by Cornellius Carradine in the spring game, plus with all the talk of Stork being one of the new leaders on this team, Hart might have to consider a redshirt in order to get himself ready for 2013.
Fall Wish List: Erving does indeed turn out to be a natural blind-side pass protector, Matias and Jackson make FSU a lot nastier on the ground and the JUCO transfers, Glauser and Watson, provide plug-and-play depth if necessary.
John Crist is the editor-in-chief of NoleDigest.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
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