There is a lot of talk inside Nole Nation about the 2018 season. Amongst all the hype, energy and enthusiasm are constant articles, Twitter and message board debates about quarterbacks, running back rotation, wide receivers and how the defense will look. The conversations are spirited and many believe that the fate of the season falls on the shoulders of Team Frenchy or Team Blackman, getting Kahlon Laborn the ball more, etc.
Actually, the fate of the 2018 Seminoles rests on the most important coaching hire this past off-season and that’s offensive line coach Greg Frey.
Can the offensive line improve in the passing game? Can they consistently create gaps in the running game? Thinking of how even a slight upgrade in play by the offensive line might push FSU over the top and back into dominance made me reevaluate who the most important player is on FSU’s team.
This is going to cause indigestion among fans, but it is the truth. I’ve seen him bashed and I believe in order for FSU to get better, he has to improve. If FSU wins 10 games this fall – which is possible – he deserves the MVP award. The most important player on FSU’s roster, and the player who has the most pressure on him to perform, is center Alec Eberle.
Eberle’s 2016 season wasn’t great largely due to a hip flexor injury. Last year was better than many would like to admit as he was selected All-ACC, but the reality is for the offense to improve he needs to be the anchor of the line. The run game doesn’t improve at the point of attack nor does FSU’s line play improve if the middle isn’t secure.
FSU has had a measure of success with bad offensive line play recently and I truly believe with the gains made in the off-season through a more aggressive weight room plan and a more technique-focused coach, all the team’s linemen should improve. But with the redshirt senior Eberle having twice as many career starts as any other ’Nole offensive lineman, you have to think he’s the one to be counted on the most.
Eberle embodies what you want from an offensive lineman. He’s tough and consistent, just needs the spark to come out in order for FSU to achieve what’s expected by many in Willie Taggart’s first year.
Article Originally Appeared on Gridiron Now: http://gridironnow.com/how-center-alec-eberle-holds-key-to-success-for-fsu-in-2018/