This is the 40th in a series of articles counting down the most important players for Florida State in 2012. There are 18 days until FSU football, and that's how many are left on the list. That means no off days. Oh, and these are not in any specific order.
Garrett Faircloth | 6'7 288 | RS-Junior | Offensive Line
A converted defensive tackle who did not play on the offensive side of the football before arriving at Florida State...played on the defensive line at Jacksonville private school powerhouse Bolles, logging 80 tackles...earned second team 2A All-State honors...missed his junior season with a knee injury...chose FSU over Memphis, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and UCF...born February 1, 1990.
Garrett Faircloth came to Florida State as a player who was once highly regarded, but a knee injury during his junior year of high school changed that somewhat. He played defensive line for The Bolles School, but Florida State liked his toughness at offensive line.
Faircloth redshirted in 2009, and played sparingly in 2010.
In 2011, however, Faircloth saw a lot of playing time. It was not by design. As covered numerous times during our previewing of Florida State (and elsewhere by independent outlets), the 'Noles had the most injured offensive line in the country. In total, 10 different 'Noles started on the offensive line.
Faircloth, who had played guard and tackle in his time at Florida State, played guard for the 'Noles in 2011, starting seven games. He was OK, but far from great. Here is what FSU's PR team has to say about Faircloth via the media guide:
...closed out the regular season with a season grade of 74 percent...played 456 snaps on the year and registered nine knockdowns, including two each against Miami, Boston College and Maryland...was penalized just one time - fewest among any FSU lineman with 200 or more snaps... yielded just two sacks...posted a season-high grade of 82 on the road at Boston College, which came on the heels of a solid 79 against NC State...
Faircloth's play was not to the level one would expect from a starter at a top BCS program like Florida State. It was certainly not what FSU fans had seen from a healthy Rodney Hudson or David Spurlock in 2009-10.
But considering Faircloth was a backup, was his play all that bad?
I submit that it really wasn't. Fairclocth was not horrible. Individually, his play was probably what one might expect from a reserve redshirt-sophomore guard. That Florida State's line was constantly in an injury flux only served to make him look worse.
Faircloth came down with a hip injury before the bowl game, and true freshman Tre Jackson started in his place.
That wasn't good news for Faircloth, as Jackson played reasonably well, and has not relinquished the spot thus far in fall camp. Jackson looks like an eventual NFL player. Faircloth does not. It would be a huge shock if Faircloth won back the right guard job.
But Faircloth can continue to provide quality depth. Depending on Faircloth, now a year more experienced, to be the backup at right guard is not a bad thing in the slightest.
Fiarcloth has already received his degree as well, which is pretty cool.