Spring Evaluation Preview: Offensive Line

The May evaluation period has been under way for a couple weeks now. At the halfway point the coaches have been all over the country evaluating and checking out prospects for 2011. NoleDigest continues its series of previewing the positions the Seminoles will be recruiting this cycle. In this installment we look at offensive line.

While the 2011 class for Florida State is expected to be defense oriented there is a major need this year for offensive linemen for the Seminoles. Rick Trickett is one of the nation's elite offensive line coaches, and he is known for his ability to evaluate and find guys that fit his system.

FSU has a few committed recruits at this time but that hasn't stopped Coach Trickett from getting out seeing his top targets this spring. We've heard that FSU is looking to sign around 5 linemen for this class. We look at some of the top overall targets for this year's class as the May evaluation period is at its halfway mark.

Scout.com committed offensive linemen:

Trey Pettis: #8 center

Sterling Lovelady

Top Targets:

Bobby Hart: Florida State has made Hart one of, if not their top, tackle target for this class. At this stage Bobby is a young rising senior as he is 16 years old. His ceiling is what schools see in Hart, meaning he has potential to be elite once he gets into college. At 6'5" 298 pounds Bobby has the feet and nasty streak Trickett looks for. FSU is the solid leader at this time, but look for Hart to enjoy the recruiting process a little bit.

Max Lang: Lang is an interesting prospect, and like Hart he is a big guy (6'5" 280) who moves well on his feet. Early on Lang thought about possibly committing to FSU but since he's backed off as he wants to keep his process open. Lang has the tools to be a very good tackle in college. Right now USF is the leader, but FSU will play a role.

Xzavier Ward: Ward isn't talked about much when it comes to FSU but the coaches are targeting the Colquitt Co. standout. Ward is 6'7" 255 pounds so he has room to grow into his frame. At this stage he is more of a pass blocker and a guy who is looked at with a bug upside. Look for FSU to continue to evaluate Xavier.

Zach DeBell: DeBell has seen his recruitment really pick up since the May evaluation period started. Before spring practice Zach was making waves at camps due to his athleticism and sheer size. DeBell hasn't played a lot of offensive line as he's played defense and tight end earlier in his career. But with the size and 4.9 speed DeBell will get a lot of attention. FSU wants to see how he plays at tackle before extending an offer.

Errin Joe: Errin is a guy FSU has been on for a while and he is a prospect they have a good chance of landing. Scout has Joe listed as a tackle, but he is a guy who can also play inside. Coach Trickett likes linemen like Errin because they are versatile. Joe dominates in run blocking and shows a mean streak on film.

Mike Matulis: NoleDigest reported last week that Coach Trickett had stopped by Park Vista to evaluate this rising tackle. Matulis has seen schools like FSU, Missouri, Tennessee, Miami, Louisville, Maryland and host of others stop by to see him. Mike showed potential at the Nike combine in Miami, coming away with MVP honors. At 6'6" and little fat, and the ability to bend and move well for a guy his size, Mike is a recruit FSU fans should keep an eye on.

Kyler Kerbyson: FSU offered the Tennessee product last in April. He told NoleDigest when offered that Coach Trickett like him because of his aggressiveness. A lot of schools are coming by and offering Kyler, but at this time it is hard to see him not staying home and becoming a Volunteer.

Jacob Fahrenkrug: Jacob is a JUCO lineman from North Dakota State College of Science. He wasn't recruited out of high school, but now schools are showing a ton of interest. Coach Trickett has visited his school twice now as he is starting to really climb up the Seminoles' board. At 6'4" and 310 pounds Fahrenkrug is a big guard that gets to the next level in a hurry.

Thomas Williams: The Vigor High lineman has been getting a lot of interest from FSU for several months now. So far Williams has visited FSU, coming away from Junior Day impressed with Coach Trickett and the program. Clemson just got into the picture and schools like Alabama, Auburn and Georgia are evaluating Thomas. FSU will continue to pursue Williams as Trickett likes his ability as an athletic guard.

Quincy McKinney: McKinney was supposed to visit FSU last month but he wasn't able to make it. The coaches have been by Carver to see him this spring as he is one of the best guards in the south. It is kind of hard to see where the Seminoles stand at this time, but they will recruit McKinney as long as they can.

Marcus Jackson: FSU has offered the Miami commitment and he says he will take a look at what FSU has to offer. Here is Mike Bakas has to say about Marcus, "Jackson emerged as one of the best guard prospects in the state as a junior. He is a big, thick, strong kid who really drives people off the ball. He's very powerful and explosive at the point of contact. He just needs to continue working on the little things, like technique, footwork in pass pro, and things like that. He has a chance to be one of the state's best for 2011."

There are other targets like Brey Cook, Gregory Robinson and Watts Dantzler out there but the ‘Noles look to be on the outside looking in at this time.


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