April 14, 2012

Insider Report: Erving dubs first game at LT success

It was the unexpected development of the spring, Cameron Erving's aptitude at left tackle.

A position switch from defensive tackle to the offensive line does not typically produce immediate success. But as head coach Jimbo Fisher and the Seminole players raved about Erving's play time and time again, it was becoming clear that Fisher wasn't just being kind to the redshirt sophomore.

After going through a lightning quick transition process, "within a week" as he put it, Erving truly found a new home.

So it came as no shock to coach Fisher that Erving was one of the stronger offensive linemen, let alone tackle, in Saturday's Spring Game.

"I thought Cam Erving played very well," Fisher said. "Left tackle, I wanted to see if he could sit there and block over and over and over again."

And saw Fisher did, as quarterback EJ Manuel dropped back 51 different times.

As for Erving himself, he agreed his first game-action at left tackle was a success.

"I feel like I played pretty well," said Erving. "There's always something that you can improve on. Going against Brandon (Jenkins) is always hard, he's a great player. I feel like I played pretty well."

As hard as it was to face an All-conference talent, Jenkins conceded the day to Erving.

"He came out with his 'A' game and I struggled a little bit," Jenkins said.

Although his stock continues to rise, Erving knows he has a long way to go to be a master of his new position. Ahead for him this summer is playbook study and technique refinement.

"I just got my feet wet," Erving said. "It's new, it's totally new. I've been doing this for two-and-a-half weeks of my whole life. So I'm just taking it in stride... and trying to get better."

It won't hurt, either, to have Jenkins there every day in fall camp to make the learning curve faster.

"I feel like it's going to be a tremendous help," Jenkins said. "Brandon is a great player like I said. It's going to help me a whole lot in the fall when it comes to playing other ends, because you don't see a combination end who can play the run and the pass like he can."

Now that he can look back on agreeing to the switch, Erving said he's content with his decision and the subsequent results.

"It's either you step up or you don't," he said. "It was a tough move, but at the end of the day I'm the type of person that I accept challenges."

And apparently a person who learns quickly too.

Gholston snags a pair

Rashad Gholston started off the game by returning a kick 22 yards, which set up a touchdown pass on the first play of the game. He finished the game with two touchdowns of his own.

The walk-on wide receiver caught his first touchdown off a 15-yard pass from Clint Trickett in the third quarter. He caught his second off a 25-yard throw from fellow walk-on James Moore.

Despite a great performance, the junior from Miami wants to focus on improving.

"The first thing I gotta tell myself and reiterate to myself is to stay humble," Gholston said. "Cause the two touchdowns, that happened, but I gotta put those aside and I gotta keep grinding and work harder to improve my performance."

Spring practice has been tough, but Gholston is constantly motivated by his teammates, and he credits his breakout outing on Saturday to them.

"(Spring practice) hasn't been easy. Day in and day out. Not every day is perfect," Gholston said. "But my team motivated me and I motivated myself, and I went out there and executed."

The bond he has with his teammates adds to that motivation.

"(The team is) nothing but family. That's what we preach all the time - family. And we've been together since day one."
Reid happy with Garnet's effort
Greg Reid's winning Garnet squad held EJ Manuel's offense to just 84 rush yards and snagged two interceptions from the Gold side.

Not surprisingly, the senior defensive back was happy with the way his unit played.

"I think we did real good, man, but I'm not the coach, so I don't really know everybody's mistakes or anything like that," Reid said. "But as a defense on the field, I think we did a really good job."

Reid was tasked with guarding 6-foot-6 wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who was one of the most talked about players coming into the game. Benjamin caught just four passes under the watchful eye of Reid.

"It was tough, I had to be on my p's and q's every few plays," Reid said. "It was tough, but I think I did a good job and I think he did a good job, too."

Reid felt that the match-up between he and Benjamin worked to improve both players, and he also knows that FSU's deep and talented group of receivers helped the secondary improve this spring.

"(The receivers are) getting better and better everyday, man," Reid said. "(If) I slip up, they're making a play. I've said this since my freshman year, but I feel like I'm still going up against the best receiving corps in the nation."

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