April 2, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Just call Bryan Stork the utility player on Florida State's offensive line.
A former high-school tight end, Stork had played and started at both center and guard before spring practices began this year. Now, as a redshirt junior, the Vero Beach native has been lining up as the first-team right tackle for offensive line coach Rick Trickett's group.
It's a move that the 6-foot-4, 313-pound blocker has relished.
"I enjoy it because it's been helping me understand the offense as a whole," said Stork, who missed a day of practice last week with turf toe but was still able to participate in the Seminoles' first scrimmage this past Saturday.
It was after that scrimmage that FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said Stork has "been doing some real nice things out there" this spring.
Perhaps helping Stork's ability to switch and excel at a new position is his welcomeness to the change.
Despite the fact that he has to match up against Cornellius Carradine everyday at practice -- a daunting task for experienced and inexperienced right tackles alike -- Stork said he would stay at his new position if given the choice.
"Honestly, I like tackle the best," he said. "It's a lot of fun. I enjoy being in a two-point stance. You get a better view of what's going on outside and inside of the box."
Not only is Stork FSU's jack of all trades on the offensive line but he is also the most experienced among his healthy position mates.
Henry Orelus, Jacob Fahrenkrug, Garrett Faircloth and Daniel Glauser are the only other upperclassmen on the offensive line but Fahrenkrug and Faircloth are being held out of contact this spring and Glauser is a junior-college transfer enrolled in his first semester at FSU.
Orelus is also working himself back into the rotation after he missed the entire 2011 season due to injury.
"It snuck up on me because I remember when I first got here it was the old line: [Andrew] Datko, Rodney [Hudson], [Ryan] McMahon, [David] Spurlock, Zebrie [Sanders]," Stork said. "I try to be the way they were and kind of use my own style, be a leader and try to help the young guys out just like they did me when I was a young guy."
Of the many young players on the line, starting center Austin Barron has been the biggest benefactor of Stork's new role as veteran leader.
"He's really taken me under his wing," Barron said. "He's like my big brother. He's really helped me learn to pick up the offense as quick as I possibly could."