Now at the end of a spring-practice period that saw him return to the starting lineup, junior right tackle Bobby Hart is intent on working hard to stay there, writes Brandon Mellor.
A first-time offensive linemen a year ago at this time, Cam Erving has started his second spring as the 'Noles left tackle with something that can't be learned on the practice fields: experience.
FSU returns four standouts on an ever-improving line that is now in need of a new starter at right tackle in the wake of Menelik Watson's early exit to the NFL Draft.
As part of an ongoing series of articles, get a glimpse of each member of FSU's 2013 signing class. Up next: offensive guard Ira Denson.
As part of an ongoing series of articles, get a glimpse of each member of FSU's 2013 signing class. Up next: offensive lineman Wilson Bell.
FSU's win over Miami through the photography of Mike Olivella
The Trickett File
One of the top and most respected offensive line coaches in all of college football, Rick Trickett enters his sixth season at Florida State and his 40th overall. He is nationally recognized for his ability to identify, recruit and develop talent. He has transformed the Seminoles' offensive line into one of the finest units in the nation.
Trickett's abilities to mold a unit were tested by injuries during 2011. The extended losses of seniors Andrew Datko and David Spurlock led FSU to start seven different offensive line combinations. No single group was together in the same position for more than three consecutive games. However, Trickett's group still managed to produce an All-ACC first team selection in senior Zebrie Sanders, a freshman All-American in Bobby Hart and two NFL draft picks. Sanders ended up being a fifth round pick of the Buffalo Bills. Datko, who was headed for a solid senior campaign, was selected in the seventh round by the Green Bay Packers. Trickett's handy work in crafting offensive lines really came to light in the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl. His young starting line featuring four true freshmen overcame a four-sack first half, settled down and held off a good Notre Dame defensive line to help FSU rally from a 14-0 deficit as the Seminoles won 18-14. That quartet of nine-game starter Bobby Hart, three-game starter Austin Barron, Josue Matias and Tre' Jackson will be mixed in with Bryan Stork, Garrett Faircloth and newly converted left tackle Cameron Erving giving Trickett some depth and versatility to work with in 2012.
In 2010, Trickett's line featured second round NFL draft pick Rodney Hudson. Hudson became one of the most decorated offensive linemen in school and ACC history, earning unanimous first team All-American honors in 2010. Hudson was one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, won his second consecutive Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the ACC's most dominant lineman and was only the second lineman in league history to be selected All-ACC four times. Trickett's unit led the way for three Seminole running backs who gained more than 400 yards rushing on the ground. It was only the sixth time in FSU history that a trio gained more than 400 yards in a season. FSU ran for more than 200 yards five times as a team including a 298-yard performance against in-state rival Miami which capped off a string of four consecutive 200-yard rushing games - BYU (278), Wake Forest (201), Virginia (256) and Miami (298). FSU ran for 218 yards in the Chick-fil-A bowl win over SEC East Champion South Carolina. Center Ryan McMahon finished his career as the all-time leader in career starts (53) after Trickett converted the defensive tackle into a mainstay on the offensive line for four years. Going into 2011, his bookends - left tackle Andrew Datko and right tackle Zebrie Sanders - are already garnering preseason honors. The two have a combined 73 career starts.
In 2009, Trickett's unit allowed just 20 sacks - the fewest by an FSU team since 1997 - as the `Noles averaged 271.8 yards a game through the air. In 2008, the `Noles averaged 179.1 yards a game on the ground; the best by an FSU team since 2002. All five Florida State starting offensive linemen in 2009 were nominated for All-ACC honors by opposing league coaches, marking a first in Trickett's distinguished career.
Trickett has coached seven All-American offensive linemen in his storied career at some of the nation's top schools, including Hudson, who earned the distinction from the Football Writers Association of America in 2009 and was a unanimous All-American selection in 2010. He has been nominated for the Frank Broyles Award twice which goes to the nation's top assistant coach. He was nominated in 2006 and 2009.
Three FSU linemen - guard Rodney Hudson, center Ryan McMahon and current tackle Andrew Datko - garnered Freshman All-American honors while playing for Trickett. He has coached 15 players that have been named either first or second team freshmen All-Americans.
Trickett's track record for developing strong units quickly transferred to Florida State as the Seminoles improved its per game rushing yards average by more than 70 yards after two seasons. After one season at West Virginia, the Mountaineer 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.
In 2006 as the offensive line coach at West Virginia, the Mountaineers were second in the nation in rushing, third in scoring offense and fifth in total offense. Only two other schools in the previous 10 years had finished in the top five of each of those categories.
At Auburn, he coached four linemen - Wayne Gandy, Willie Anderson, Victor Riley and Kendall Simmons - who were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
More than 30 players Trickett has coached have gone on to play in the NFL and more than 30 players have won all-conference honors under Trickett, including four of his five linemen at West Virginia in 2005 and 2006. At LSU in 2000, three of his players earned All-SEC honors.
Trickett 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.
Trickett is a U.S. Marine Corps and Vietnam War veteran.
Trickett's first published book in 2012 "Complete Offensive Line" is a comprehensive guide to the techniques, drills and game strategies necessary to develop an effective offensive front.
The Tricketts have been a fixture on the FSU campus since Rick's 2007 arrival in Tallahassee. Two of Tara and Rick's sons have been involved in the football program with Travis serving as an offensive graduate assistant in 2010 after serving as a videographer. He received his master's degree from FSU and is now the co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks at Samford. Clint is a redshirt sophomore quarterback with the Seminoles and Chance graduated in spring 2011 with his bachelor's degree.
Trickett's Coaching Ledger