This is the 36th in a series of articles counting down the days until Florida State football kicks off the 2012 season. There are 22 days until FSU football, and that's how many items are left on the list. That means no off days. Oh, and these are not in any specific order.
6'4, 322 | Guard/Center | Senior
Bio (courtesy: media guide)
Widely considered the top offensive lineman in the JUCO ranks...four-star recruit according to Rivals.com, who lined up at left guard for his North Dakota State College of Science team...played in the Minneapolis suburban high school of Robbinsdale Cooper for three years...once weighed 400 pounds and used athletics as a way to improve his health...No. 11 on the SuperPrep JUCO 100...the No. 4-rated overall JUCO prospect and the top-rated offensive lineman in the nation by Rivals.com...rated a four-star recruit by 247Sports...named 2010 First Team NJCAA All-American...also named Academic All-Conference, First Team All-Region 11 and First Team All Midwest Football Conference...earned honorable mention All-Region honors as a freshman at North Dakota State...born October 18, 1990.
"Elite ankles" is now the proper way to end runaway arguments on TN. But just to remind everyone, we didn't start the fire:
"For a guy to go in after one day's work and play, it was unbelievable how well he played," Coach Trickett said. "He played better than [All-American At West Virginia] Dan Moses ever did and [All-Conference at FSU] Ryan McMahon or anybody like that. Until we get [David] Spurlock's situation straightened out, he may end up being the guy. We have him, [Bryan] Stork, [Sterling] Lovelady (true freshman), [Jacob] Stanley (walk on) and Spurlock so we have five guys that can go in there if we have to...Yeah, I haven't had a big guy in a long, long time that can bend like he can. When he snaps the football, his butt goes down. That's hard to do. Everybody else's comes up. He can bend his ankles, he has tremendous knee bend. He has the best knee bend and ankle flexion of anybody that I have ever coached. Hopefully, if I don't mess him up he will be a pretty good player one of these days."
Performance review in short, Fahrenkrug played how you expect for an average 1st-year JUCO lineman. But Fahrenkrug wasn't an average JUCO offensive line recruit. He was one of the top-rated JUCO offensive line recruits. And in that context, his performance was disappointing.
There were moments of awful, juxtaposed with powerful, sweeping blocks - the "lightbulb" moments, as it were. Krug had practiced all off-season at center, but by the 2nd week of September Trickett made the move to switch Stork to Center and Krug to guard. Undoubtedly this put some more pressure on him to become familiar with yet another position.
Fahrenkrug turned in a very poor performance against a healthy OU defense, featuring turnstile-blocks and an inability to play in space. He rebounded nicely against Wake, but not before struggling mightily again at Clemson. Against Duke, his performance was mixed, but he continued to show improvement. False starts were a problem for him, flagged once in each of the NCSU and UMD. games. Bud did credit him with 6 nice blocks in the Maryland game.
Fahrenkrug started all 12 regular season games in 2011, but missed the bowl due to a shoulder injury, practicing sparsely prior to the game. Based on how bad his play was in the Noles loss to Virginia after he had shown improvement throughout the season, his injuries may have begun earlier than bowl practice.
Projecting Fahrenkrug's 2012 participation is difficult. Coach Trickett is hard to figure out.
I was convinced last year that Spurlock would never play another down for FSU due to his concussion issues. But Trickett ran him out there, showing his penchant for playing his senior linemen. But after enough poor performances, even Trickett had to pull the plug on the kid's comeback tour. You really felt for a guy who had done nothing but what his coach had asked him to do, only to see him get washed up by injuries. And concussions are nothing to mess with.
The 2012 starters are still up in the air, as FSU has enough pieces to the puzzle - and depth - to be able to configure a line based on performance instead of out of necessity. Having said that, I think Krug is the 1st off the bench behind Josue Matias at left guard, and can pick up snaps at center in a pinch or in garbage time.
If injuries befall the 2012 OL - which is not hard to imagine (see 2011, when FSU had to start ten offensive linemen) - Fahrenkrug should be better prepared to step in and play thanks to his additional time in the system.