Position switches get mixed reviews
OT Cameron Erving (Al Messerschmidt/Getty)
OT Cameron Erving (Al Messerschmidt/Getty)
Editor-in-Chief
Posted Feb 20, 2012


Florida State announced four big position moves Monday, most notably Cameron Erving flipping to offensive tackle from defensive tackle. JC takes a shot at breaking down the new depth chart.

Cameron Erving

Old Position: Defensive tackle
New Position: Offensive tackle
Most Affected: Bobby Hart
Chance of Starting: 55 percent
Agree or Disagree: Disagree

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Analysis: While a bit of a head scratcher, as Erving redshirted in 2010 but burst onto the scene this past year and contributed greatly -- 20 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack -- at defensive tackle as a freshman, word out on the street is that the 6-5, 305-pounder went to the coaching staff and asked to move to the other side of the ball. Yes, Florida State is loaded along the interior of the defense and landed two more potential studs on signing day in Eddie Goldman and Justin Shanks, although it's difficult to understand why a player would vacate a position that features a lot of rotating to play a different position in which non-starters are fixtures on the bench. If Erving signed up for this switch voluntarily, either he was told he'd be in the starting lineup or has all the confidence in the world he can beat out the likes of Hart and Josue Matias.

Fallout: With Erving, Hart and Matias presumably battling for the two tackle jobs, junior-college additions Daniel Glauser and Menelik Watson might have to consider moving inside to guard if they want to get on the field.

Nick Moody

Old Position: Safety
New Position: Linebacker
Most Affected: Jeff Luc
Chance of Starting: 20 percent
Agree or Disagree: Agree

Analysis: The player teammates call "Hit Stick" was one of the leading tacklers for the Seminoles as a sophomore in 2010, but this past season he dealt with a handful of nagging leg injuries and watched senior Terrance Parks take away the majority of his playing time. Almost always a better in-the-box defender and a bit of a liability in coverage, now the 6-2, 242-pounder -- he's apparently put 18 pounds on his frame already during the offseason conditioning program -- won't have to run with receivers anymore and can concentrate on backs and tight ends. With Nigel Bradham freshly graduated and looking like a second-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, perhaps Luc isn't a no-brainer selection to take over on the weak side after all.

Fallout: Every FSU fan is dying to see what Karlos Williams can do on defense, not just on kick returns, so this move means the starting assignment is his for the taking alongside fellow safety Lamarcus Joyner.

Dan Hicks

Old Position: Defensive end
New Position: Tight end
Most Affected: Will Tye
Chance of Starting: 5 percent
Agree or Disagree: Disagree

Analysis: It's not like he has never played the position before, as Hicks was originally recruited by the 'Noles to be a tight end and has plenty of experience there, but it's interesting that he goes from one position of need to another. Both Beau Reliford and Ja'Baris Little have split, and Tye isn't exactly going to push Nick O'Leary on the depth chart. Even though O'Leary is the most dangerous pass-catching weapon to arrive in Tallahassee at tight end in quite some time, he only caught 12 passes as a freshman and was an afterthought down the stretch because his blocking wasn't up to snuff -- coach Jimbo Fisher doesn't like situational players and wants his skill-position guys to be able to do it all.

Fallout: Giorgio Newberry was rumored to be a possible switchee from defensive end to offensive tackle, and while that won't happen now, this could still turn out to be a regrettable decision if an injury bug happens to take a bite out of Brandon Jenkins, Bjoern Werner or Cornellius Carradine.

Toshmon Stevens

Old Position: Defensive end
New Position: Linebacker
Most Affected: Nigel Terrell
Chance of Starting: 0 percent
Agree or Disagree: Agree

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Analysis: Since he has completed three years of eligibility and never amounted to anything more than a special-teams ace, nobody expects Stevens to crack the rotation on defense no matter what position the coaches ask him to play. Too lean to be a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end at 235 pounds, he might make sense as a second- or third-team 'backer on the strong side behind incumbent Christian Jones. There are grumblings that Terrell -- the native of Pelham, Alabama, spent 2011 as a second stringer backing up Jones but rarely entered the huddle -- is not progressing as once hoped.

Fallout: Even more reason to think Newberry and incoming recruits Mario Edwards and Chris Casher are in line for regular playing time in 2012, not that Stevens was ever going to stand in their way in the first place.


John Crist is the editor-in-chief of NoleDigest.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.



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OT Cameron Erving (profile)
TE Dan Hicks (profile)
LB Nick Moody (profile)
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