Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Youth Must Move FSU; Injuries, Academic Problems and Graduation Leave the Seminoles without an Upperclassman on Their Offensive Front This Season

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Youth Must Move FSU; Injuries, Academic Problems and Graduation Leave the Seminoles without an Upperclassman on Their Offensive Front This Season

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO

TAMPA - Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden briefly reminisced Friday about the good old days.

Not the national titles or Heisman Trophy winners. Rather, about the times when the Seminoles automatically redshirted every freshman offensive lineman.

That's a luxury FSU doesn't have anymore. Injuries, academic issues and graduation have put the Seminoles in the position of starting three offensive linemen who have never played in a college game. It's also the first time in more than 50 years that FSU doesn't have a junior or senior offensive lineman on its roster.

"That's probably our biggest liability going in," Bowden said during the Florida Sports Writers Association College Football Media Days. "Our offensive line is going to be made up of redshirt freshmen or sophomores or pure freshmen, and that's about as high as it goes."

After three starters graduated, the Seminoles lost projected starting left tackle Daron Rose in the spring to academics, and projected starting left guard Evan Bellamy likely will miss the season because of a blood clot in his leg. Sophomore Rodney Hudson moved back to left guard - he had worked at left tackle in the spring as Rose's replacement - after a freshman All-American season in which he started 10 games.

The only other player with any game experience is redshirt sophomore center Ryan McMahon, who earned Freshman All-American honors after starting every game last season.

Redshirt freshmen Will Furlong and Antwane Greenlee are the projected starters at right guard and right tackle, respectively, and it appears the starting left tackle job will go to either Andrew Datko, Zebrie Sanders or Rhonne Sanderson - all incoming freshmen.

"I'm sure when our freshmen come in, we'll work them and see if there's any of them that's more mature than others, a little bit more ready," Bowden said. "The worst thing they're going to do is second team."

Despite the lack of experience, Bowden said he's not too worried because he believes assistant head coach/offensive line coach Rick Trickett will have things sorted out by the time Florida State opens its season Sept. …

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