Growing Process

Florida State redshirt sophomore <b>Cory Niblock</b> finished spring drills second on the depth chart behind All-American <b>Alex Barron</b> at split tackle. Niblock also expects to once again contribute on special teams as the Seminoles continue their summer conditioning drills in preparation for the start of two-a-days next month. FSU's offensive line must protect senior QB <b>Chris Rix.</b> Click here for an update.

Cory Niblock could have easily returned to his hometown St. Augustine this summer to train for Florida State's upcoming season.

Niblock had other ideas.

Instead, Niblock has attended both school summer sessions and been a regular during the Seminoles' voluntary conditioning workouts.

Niblock, a redshirt sophomore from St. Augustine Nease, turned in a solid effort during the team's performance testing last week.

He registered 5.0 40, a 4.35 shuttle, 32.5 vertical jump and 8-8 broad jump. Mix those numbers with a 350-pound bench press, 350-pound clean-and-jerk and 540-pound squat, and what one has is a player who turned in personal-bests in each event.

"I am really glad I stayed here for the summer," Niblock said and smiled following a recent workout. "I've been taking classes all summer long and have been working out, so it's worked out pretty good for me."

Indeed.

Niblock, a 6-foot-4, 290-pounder, finished spring drills second on the depth chart behind All-American Alex Barron at split tackle.

Niblock also played on special teams last season -- point-after and field goal -- and is looking to once again contribute in both areas. His workout regime also has changed his body, dropping fat and adding extra muscle.

"I had to shed some fat and get stronger -- that's what I wanted to accomplish this offseason," Niblock said.

"Staying here instead of going home has definitely paid off for me. I feel a lot better and a lot more comfortable compared to last year. I just want to get on the field, get some playing time and help out any way I can this year."

Niblock also expects good things from an offensive line that should be a team strength.

The Seminoles welcome back all five starting offensive linemen, including Barron and two-year starter Ray Willis.

Matt Meinrod, who has added noticeable bulk during the offseason and won the team's strength competition, started every game as a sophomore last year at guard.

Bobby Meeks, who says he's fully recovered from an injury-plagued junior season though his status remains unresolved following his recent felony arrest, and Ron Lunford shared playing time at the other guard position.

FSU coaches used last season to develop depth on the line.

True sophomore John Frady played well at center in place of veteran David Castillo along with sophomore Mario Henderson, who started the Orange Bowl against Miami at split tackle.

"I am looking for good things from the O-Line this year," Niblock said. "Everyone has gained a year of experience."


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