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Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Coaching 'em up: Florida State

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

FSU is next in the series taking a look at one assistant coach from each school whose position group will be in the spotlight this fall for one reason or another:

Coach: Rick Trickett

Position: Offensive line

Experience: He is entering his fifth season at Florida State and 39th overall. Trickett has coached at 11 different programs, including West Virginia, Auburn, LSU and Mississippi State. He’s gone to a bowl game in each of the past nine seasons, including five of the six seasons he was with West Virginia. After just two seasons under Trickett, the Seminoles improved their rushing yards average by more than 70 yards per game. After one season at West Virginia, the Mountaineers' running game improved from 35th in the nation to second in 2002. From 2002-2006, West Virginia finished among the top 15 rushing offenses and three times were among the top five nationally.

Of note: Trickett is one of the most interesting characters in the ACC. He’s a U.S. Marine Corps and Vietnam War veteran. He drives a Harley. And he’s regarded by many as one of the best offensive line coaches in the country. More than 30 of Trickett’s former players have gone on to play in the NFL. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1972 from Glenville (W.Va.), where he was an all-conference strong safety. He received his master's degree from Indiana (Pa.) in 1975.

His challenge: Reload. Florida State must replace its top two offensive linemen in Rodney Hudson and Ryan McMahon. Trickett has plenty of experience to work with, but depth is an issue. Significant strides will have to be made this summer, as spring was a time to heal. Left tackle Andrew Datko was out with a shoulder injury, right tackle Zebrie Sanders was out after abdominal surgery, and left guard David Spurlock, who started the first seven games of 2010 before suffering a concussion, was only about 50 percent because of a hand/wrist injury. Key reserves like Rhonne Sanderson (foot injury) and Blake Snider (ankle injury) were missing. Jacob Fahrenkrug was supposed to take over at left guard, but finished the spring starting at center. This fall, the starting lineup will consist of LT Datko, LG Bryan Stork or Spurlock, C Fahrenkrug, RG Spurlock or Stork, RT Sanders. It’s up to Trickett to coach ‘em up.