Cameron Erving is coming off an impressive spring. Two talented writers in Coley Harvey and Adam Tolliver authored articles on him last week, so I won't attempt to re-invent the wheel by writing a new piece on Erving.
"The guy inside has girth," Fisher said, explaining the benefits of a 6-foot-5, 300-pound defensive tackle. "Big guys do more by accident than they do on purpose. They eat space up. They get their arms in the way."
They make entire defenses better.
At least, Erving's teammates seem to think so.
For those headed to FSU's spring game Saturday afternoon and looking for a player to keep an eye on, look no further than the massive body locking down the interior of the line, some FSU defenders say. In their eyes, the redshirt freshman from South Georgia has had a spring so impressive that he could be a key contributor in the fall ... and for seasons to come.
"He's really starting to play a little bit and get the feel for (the game)," linebacker and former high school rival Telvin Smith said. "Really what he's starting to do here is get in space and fill his gaps and really hold his position down."
Erving has played so well that Fisher is excited about his future at FSU.
"Cam Erving is going to be a big-time football player before it's all over with," Fisher said.
Now let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, this does not mean that Erving is going to start or even get an incredibly prominent amount of snaps immediately. There are several talented veterans ahead of him on the depth chart and he has a ton of real game experience to gain. Nonetheless, his progress and performance being ahead of schedule is something that is incredibly valuable for the FSU defense. If Erving can provide functional depth as a redshirt freshman it will benefit Florida State immensely, as last season this was non-existent and began to take it's toll on the starters late in the season with injuries and fatigue. Not only does he have the ability to keep the starters' legs fresh, but he will be an effective weapon against the run in his own right while gaining precious experience in preparation for the day when he takes a bulk of defensive snaps.
But I will point out something that is yet to be discussed: his age.
Erving, a red-shirt freshman doesn't turn 19 until late August! You may not realize this, but a shocking amount of college prospects are considerable older than their grade level, typically due to being held back at an early age. Erving is the opposite. He's still learning to play with and use his big, awkward body to his advantage. There's a lot of room for optimism here. In comparison, Darious Cummings (a good player in his own right), also a 2nd-year player, is sixteen months older than Erving. It makes a big difference, as the development from 17 to 18 is bigger than 18 to 19, which is bigger than 19 to 20, etc.
Curious as to how old FSU's other defensive linemen are? 4th-year junior Toshmon Stevens (22), 2nd-year sophomore Bjoern Werner (20- turns 21 by opening day), 3rd-year junior Jacobbi McDaniel (21- turns 22 during season), 4th-year junior Moses McCray (21), 4th-year junior Anthony "Amp" McCloud (21- turns 22 during season), 3rd-year sophomore Demonte McAllister (21), 3rd-year sophomore Dan Hicks (20, turns 21 in season), 3rd-year junior Brandon Jenkins (21), 4th-year junior Everett Dawkins (21), not sure on Tank Carradine.