When your athletes rank up their with the best of the best in college football, it's unlikely that an injury to any one player can instantly change the fate of a season.
And for Florida State that is the case at 21 of the 22 positions on offense and defense. The second-teamers at FSU could start for the majority of other schools in the country. But there is one spot that the Seminoles don't have that luxury in 2013: left tackle.
Starting left tackle Cam Erving is without a doubt Florida State's most indispensable player for the 2013 season due to the huge drop off in talent behind him.
The transformation of Erving in one calendar year is truly remarkable. At this time last year, Erving was working relentlessly to make the most of his switch from defensive tackle to offensive tackle, a move that he deemed a "business decision."
Erving had never played a single snap on the offensive line, but due to his work ethic and ability to learn on the go, the transition went extremely well. Sure there were hiccups along the way, that were to be expected, but the redshirt sophomore continued to improve and played his best football down the stretch - grading out at 73.6 percent over the final six games of the season.
Now looking ahead to the 2013 season, Erving is one of four returning starters from an offensive line that anchored the most productive offense in school history. It was a brilliant move on both the coaching staff and Erving's part, as it paid huge dividends, and will continue to do.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of making the switch last year as opposed this year is that Erving had veteran quarterback E.J. Manuel constantly providing words of encouragement and advice throughout the process. With Erving now having the responsibility of protecting the blind side of a freshman quarterback, his importance is even greater as he now becomes the calming force, and that's something he is embracing.
"It feels good because EJ really did help me a lot," Erving said. "He always made sure I knew that he trusted me and he was confident in my abilities and I am telling the guys the same thing. I am trying to tell them that you don't have to worry about something coming. Just get the ball out of there and don't worry about somebody coming to hit you."