Wayne McGahee III

Florida State returns an experienced offensive line in 2016

Florida State's offensive line was inexperienced and inconsistent in 2015, but things are much different this fall.

The Seminoles return eight starters from last season on the offensive line, and their two-deep is filled with linemen who all have experience. They also brought in six offensive linemen in the class of 2016, including talented four-star guard Landon Dickerson who is already creating some buzz in practice.

Anchoring the group is All-ACC left tackle Roderick Johnson. Johnson enters 2016 as an All-America candidate and is a front runner for the Outland and Lombardi Trophy. The starting left guard against Ole Miss will most likely be senior Kareem Are, who came to Florida State in 2014 ranked as the top junior college offensive guard. Are received the most improved offensive player award at the end of spring practice and is also an Outland Trophy candidate. The Seminoles started three different centers in 2015, but sophomore Alec Eberle will most likely start against Ole Miss. Eberle started at center in the final six games of 2015 for Florida State and enters 2016 as a Rimington Trophy candidate. 

Wayne McGahee III

Wilson Bell is the Seminoles' starting right guard and was the only lineman outside of Johnson to start in every game in 2015. Bell is another strong anchor on the Florida State offensive line and his experience from 2015 should improve his game this season. Sophomore Brock Ruble will probably start at right tackle against Ole Miss, but junior Rick Leonard might split reps with Ruble. Leonard converted from defensive end to right tackle this offseason and has been pushing Ruble for the starting spot. 

Florida State definitely has more experience and more bodies at offensive line this season, but whether that will translate to success against Ole Miss is unknown. The Rebels' have one of the most experienced and talented defensive lines in the SEC. They have strong tackles and speedy rushers on the edges. Florida State's success against Ole Miss is predicated on whether the Seminole offensive line can open holes for running back Dalvin Cook and whether it can protect quarterback Deondre Francois, who will start in his first college football game. Florida State does not have an easy task trying to stop a deep, experienced and talented Ole Miss defensive line.


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