TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Cameron Erving never played on the offensive line in high school. He never had to protect – it was always pursue.
But this spring, he is making the move from defensive tackle to left offensive tackle. It’s a challenge to say the least, and one that will be under intense scrutiny as the man who Florida State coaches are looking to protect EJ Manuel’s blind side.
And while FSU offensive line coach Rick Trickett is considered one of the game’s best teachers, there may be no better way to learn than by battling All-American defensive end Brandon Jenkins every day in practice.
Jenkins and Tank Carradine will test Erving. And in the fall, Erving will likely also line up against Bjoern Werner, who had seven sacks in 2012 but is out for the spring with an injury.
“They’re great players,” Erving said. “I played beside them last year and practiced with them for two years. Now I’m just reacting off what they’re doing. Of course it’s hard because they’re great players, but I feel like I’m adjusting.”
And the defensive ends are already adjusting to Erving, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound blocker who has long arms and quick feet.
“The scary part is they win and he wins,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “You block those guys, then you can block everybody else.”
Jenkins is used to either disrupting the passer or drawing the attention of double-teams. He recorded 21.5 sacks the past two seasons and has been a nuisance for opposing linemen.