Warchant - Florida State offensive line making believers in first week of practice
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Florida State offensive line making believers in first week of practice

When quarterback James Blackman was asked about Florida State's offensive line earlier this week, he said the Seminoles' front-five would be the "best in the country."

That would be, in a word, surprising.

And while it's certainly nice that the redshirt sophomore has so much confidence in his teammates, the truth of the matter is that Florida State doesn't need to have the best line in the country in 2019. It just can't have one of the worst. Like it did in 2018.

It needs to be competitive. It needs to be serviceable. It needs to be much improved.

And while the preseason is not even a week old, the Florida State offensive linemen -- and their teammates and coaches -- are saying all the right things about how much better the oft-maligned group has looked so far.

"We're really learning a lot," sophomore guard Brady Scott said. "We're really coming together, and it's a lot of fun."

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As of now, Scott is one of only two linemen on the first-team offense with starting experience at FSU. He started six games a season ago, as did left tackle Jauan Williams.

Center Baveon Johnson hasn't started a game in his first three years on campus and has only played in four. Guard Dontae Lucas is a true freshman, and right tackle Ryan Roberts is a graduate transfer from Northern Illinois.

Obviously, there's no guarantee this will be the starting lineup come opening night in Jacksonville, but it has been the first-team group for much of preseason. And they're all in their first year with new offensive line coach Randy Clements.

"He's not willing to take anything less than perfection," Roberts said of Clements. "And that's exactly what you want out of a coach. A guy who is going to push you to be the best player you can be."

When you watch the offensive linemen go through drills in the early portions of practice, the voice booming over everything comes from Clements. But it's almost never done in a negative way.

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