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Offseason spotlight: Florida State

2/8/2012

Our offseason spotlight series continues today with Florida State. A reminder: This series features individual players, position groups and coaches who really need to have big offseasons -- starting this spring.

Spotlight: Offensive line.

2011 Summary: Florida State’s woes up front began at this time last year, when several players were injured during the spring and the group never truly gained any cohesiveness or continuity, as injuries remained an issue through the entire season. The players who lined up for the season opener had only practiced together for about a week, and by the time FSU hosted Virginia on Nov. 19, the Noles had used six different starting lineups. No single group was in the same position for more than three straight games, and true freshman tackle Bobby Hart was thrown into the starting lineup at 17 years old. Four freshmen were in the starting lineup against Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl, and that’s where the Seminoles will start off this spring.

The skinny: The good news is that David Spurlock, who missed more than five games with a knee injury, is back in the mix. The most pressing question is who will replace the two talented tackles in Zebrie Sanders and Andrew Datko. Hart, Austin Barron, Josue Matias and Tre' Jackson were the starters for the bowl game, and matured rapidly from one half to the next. If the Noles are going to get more out of their offense, particularly the running game, they’re going to have to get more out of their young linemen.