Florida State center Alec Eberle started the final five games of the 2015 season, and has held onto his spot during the spring. Now into fall camp, Eberle is a leader on the offensive line.
There are a lot of things to like about Eberle's game. He's very intelligent and technically sound. The one area that has been a concern was his size. He has been listed at 6-foot-4, 294-pounds for the last two seasons, and struggled at times against bigger competition.
During the offseason, Eberle did everything he could to remedy that, and checked into camp right at 300-pounds.
"Yes," Eberle said. "I clocked in at camp I was 299 on Monday so."
Other members of the offensive line, like Rick Leonard jumping from 282-pounds to 314-pounds, made bigger jumps in weight this offseason, but Eberle went into it with a plan and stuck with it.
"My biggest thing was that I wanted to gain the weight, but I didn't want to just get fat," Eberle said. "I ran. I did extra work. I lifted a lot. This is the strongest I've ever been in my whole life also. So I think with the strength comes the weight at a point. Also just being able to stay in shape and stick to conditioning. It helps out a lot."
Eberle got some help from outside the program during the offseason as well. His parents own a barbecue and burgers restaurant in Virginia, and when he went home over the summer, they took care of him.
"I ate what I saw," Eberle said. "I went home for a couple weeks and my parents have a restaurant. I ate the mess out of that restaurant. My parents sent me home with some steaks so I ate lots of steaks and stuff like that all summer. I eat what I see."
He can feel the added weight and strength making a big difference even three days into fall camp.
"I can definitely can feel it when I get on those double teams and single man blocks," Eberle said. "I'm able to hold my ground better. Push the pile more."
With his added size and strength, in addition to his intelligence and technique, Eberle will stabilize what has been a deficient center position for the better part of the last two seasons.