Heading into camp, it was safe to assume that redshirt freshman Will Furlong would be penciled in as a starter, but a recent strain to his back has that in jeopardy now. Although Coach Trickett wants a healthy line, he also wants the young group to get as much work in as possible.
As to when the ‘Noles can expect to get Furlong back? "I'm not a doctor," Trickett said. "I just coach football. If you're out here, you're out here; and he ain't out here so he's losing ground every day."
If it were up to the man in charge, Furlong would have been out on the practice field today.
"That's between him and the doctor. I ain't no doctor. If it was up to me, he would be out here."
During Furlong's absence in Saturday's scrimmage, several players stepped up but one player that really looked good in Furlong's place was true freshman David Spurlock.
"I saw some young kids that are doing a couple things. I thought (David) Spurlock had a good day. I thought (Andrew) Datko had a good day," Coach Trickett said. "I saw a couple of them have tough days. I thought Hudson and McMahon really played well."
So does that mean Spurlock has a chance to lock down the starting job at right guard heading into the season? Well if you ask Coach Trickett, he wants to play who is out here working hard now.
"As long as Furlong's out, the worse it is for him," said Trickett. "Everybody keeps talking about Furlong, Furlong. He ain't never started a game here. So what's the difference between him and Spurlock?"
As to the overall status of how the young line has looked, Coach Trickett has been pleasantly surprised but knows there is still a long way to go.
"I think we may be further ahead than I thought we would be, but we keep getting a lot of blitzes and that type of stuff and I think that's really confusing them. That's what we got. So that's what we're gonna make it work with."
Although Coach Trickett is starting to get a little more comfortable, he remains worried the most about who will be lining up on the outsides of the line.
"We still got to find two tackles. I'm not real satisfied with our tackles."
All that being said, Coach Trickett knows that one thing that really drives his style of play is attitude, and he feels there is no lack of that so far at practice. The second year O-line coach credits his two returning All-Americans for keeping the spirits up.
"Attitude is great. You gotta give that to McMahon and Hudson. They're the ones that are keeping that going. You got good leaders with the older kids, my older kids just happen to be sophomores. So you got something."
Although young, the offensive line has more than held their own out on the practice field so far. Expect a mean bunch to have a solid season. The need for concern had to be at red-level alert heading into camp, but after seeing their solid performance in the team's first scrimmage, I think we can lower it down just a notch. As long as this line can stay healthy and keep the same mentality they have had so far, this group could have a very successful season.