With football season inching closer and closer, Noles247 and the Osceola take a look at some of the top offensive linemen Florida State will face this fall.
First team All-ACC selection Dalton Freeman anchors the Clemson offensive line.
Dalton Freeman – Clemson
2011 season: A fourth-year junior last season, the 6-5, 285-pound Freeman earned first-team All ACC honors while anchoring a Tigers line that helped pave the way to an offensive renaissance under new coordinator Chad Morris. Behind Freeman and the rest of the Clemson O-line, Clemson's running game flourished to the tune of 158.5 yards per game. Freeman was named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week after leading the team to 522 yards of total offense in a 31-28 win over Wake Forest.
Why he’s on the list: Clemson has no shortage of talented offensive players, but it will be up to Freeman to keep the offensive line on the same page and keep QB Tajh Boyd off the ground. Already named to the 2012 Rimington Award watch list, Freeman is projected to be one of the top three centers drafted by the NFL in 2013. Freeman also was the first freshman to start full time for Clemson since 1943.
Prep background: From Pelion, S.C., Freeman played offensive guard for Pelion High and was a consensus top-20 guard prospect. He was a three-time all-area, all-region, and all-state selection on offense that also succeeded in track as a junior. He was a finalist for South Carolina's Mr. Football and received the Wendy's high school Heisman. Freeman chose Clemson over a multitude of offers, including Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Penn State and South Carolina.
Andrew Miller – Virginia Tech
2011 season: Miller, a 6-4, 300-pound center, started all 14 games for the Hokies – totaling over 900 offensive snaps. He recorded at least five knockdowns on seven separate occasions and graded out above 90 percent three times. Miller also earned the Virginia Tech President's Award, presented to the offensive player who demonstrates the most outstanding leadership during offseason and spring workouts.
Why he’s on the list: Another center on the Rimington watch list, Miller, a redshirt junior, bolsters a Hokies offensive line that ought to present the Seminoles with a challenge when they visit Blacksburg on a Thursday night. Miller's teammates have noted that Miller brings a bit of a mean streak to Tech's offensive line, perhaps spurred on by his background as a high school wrestler.
“He's not afraid to hit somebody after the play,” former right guard Jaymes Brooks told the Richmond Times-Dispatch last season. “He doesn't mind 15 yards. That's good. We like it. He just brings a mean streak to the line that we needed.”
Florida's Chaz Green earned freshman All-American honors last year.
Prep background: He earned first-team All-Group AA honors as a senior, recording 102 tackles as a defensive lineman. He was ranked the No. 19 prospect in Virginia by The Roanoke Times. Miller also won consecutive state championships in wrestling as a heavyweight.
Chaz Green – Florida
2011 season: In his redshirt freshman season, the 6-5, 300-pound Green started nine games, only missing the other four due to injury. His performance as the Gators' right tackle earned him FWAA freshman All-American honors and a spot on the Southeastern Conference's All-Freshman team.
Why he’s on the list: Florida's offensive struggles in its first year under Will Muschamp were well-chronicled, but Green's first year on the offensive line was a bright spot. Green missed four games in the regular season, but Florida rushed for 1,415 yards and 12 touchdowns in games in which Green played.
Prep background: Before attending UF, Green was rated by 247Sports as a four-star prospect, the No. 8 offensive tackle in the nation and the No. 8 overall recruit in the state of Florida. A product of Tampa Catholic, Green played in the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game and was named to the Top 150 Dream Team by PrepStar Magazine. He chose Florida over Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Southern California.
Jonotthan Harrison — Florida
Xavier Nixon — Florida
Seantrel Henderson — Miami
Brandon Thomas — Clemson
R.J. Mattes — N.C. State