With so many offseason changes and so much to improve upon following a 7-6 season, there aren't too many constants on the FSU football team as it closes out spring practice.
There is competition for starting honors at nearly every slot across the depth chart. But along with such players as Antone Smith, Geno Hayes, Tony Carter and Myron Rolle, Andre Fluellen is virtually a lock to be a starter when the Seminoles travel to Clemson to open the regular season.
The redshirt senior defensive tackle has gradually improved over his tenure in Tallahassee. This spring he has been unblockable to the under construction offensive line. His play this year in his final season in garnet and gold will serve as the stepping stone towards playing at the highest football level.
Fluellen isn't looking there just yet, however.
"This is basically my fifth year. It's the last year and I have to leave something around for the younger guys," Fluellen said. "It's not all about going to the next level. It's not all about making millions of dollars. It's (about) trying to set a legacy here and trying to set Florida State's standards for the younger guys."
A lot of attention has been placed on the afore mentioned offensive line and all the changes that have been made since Rick Trickett took over as coach.
But defensively, coach Odell Haggins the line is looking for the right personnel as it is without the services of veterans Paul Griffin and Emmanuel Dunbar. Still, Fluellen is pleased with the progress.
"Everybody is coming along. I think Budd (Thacker) is probably coming along more than anybody just leading the techniques and everything," Fluellen said. "But everybody is coming along. Once we have everybody healthy for the fall, we can be unstoppable I think."
As Fluellen prepares to play in his final Garnet & Gold spring game this Saturday, the 6-foot-4 and 285-pouinder will do so knowing that when his time does come, he has the chance to continue the pipeline of FSU defensive tackles in the NFL.
He has played with the likes of Darnell Dockett and Brodrick Bunkley and it's the motivation to keep the trend going that fuels his play on the field.
"I want to keep the track record going," Fluellen said. "We have had some elite defensive tackles come out in the last three, four or five years so I just want to keep the legacy going. I don't want to look back and say I was the guy that broke the links. I'm doing whatever I have to do this summer to work my hardest and be my best."
Fluellen focusing on the here and now
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