"When we were recruiting them, coach (Jimmy) Heggens told them then -- and that's a position you would obviously love to be able to redshirt guys -- there was going to be a pretty good chance for them to have to come in and play," FSU recruiting coordinator John Lilly said.
"Especially for a guy like John Frady at center, where we were a little bit thin to start out with. He was preparing himself -- and we continued to ask him to prepare himself -- to come in ready to play."
Eight true freshmen saw action last season, and that number could be repeated this year. Frady, course, is running second team behind starter David Castillo and is already battle scarred -- he has suffered a slight knee sprain and concussion in the first two weeks.
Henderson, one of the unit's biggest players at 6-6 and 330 pounds, has had the benefit of playing behind experienced tackles in Alex Barron and Ray Willis. A highly-recruited tackle, Overmyer has been moved to guard for depth reasons along the Seminoles' offensive line.
"All three of them are getting all the work they want right now," Lilly said. "It's early and their heads are probably spinning but that's what you expect at this point in the process."
Willis, who was redshirted with most of his class in 2000 and has developed into one of the team's top linemen, has been impressed by the three's work ethic and focus.
"Everything is moving at one million miles per hour but they've been right there," Willis said. "They are all good athletes and we need them to develop and step up. And they are working very hard and doing everything that has been asked of them."
Defensively, all eyes have been on linebacker Ernie Sims and cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Sims turned in one of the best hits of the preseason in Thursday's scrimmage, flattening tailback Leon Washington during goal-line drills and causing a fumble that Pat Watkins would have returned easily for a touchdown.
Lilly says getting freshmen prepared for the upcoming season can be a double-edged sword.
"Coach Bowden tells us that he wants to try to ease guys into it.. Don't make them feel like they have to know the whole offense or the whole defense the first day they walk in off the street," Lilly said.
"At the same time, when we say ease them in, we are going to put them in there in scrimmage situations and see how they react. Where it's going to really tell is as we go through this next week and a half and head into that last week of preparing for North Carolina. That's where it's really going to tell who is going to be ready or not."