- David M. Hale, ESPN Staff Writer
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It has been a revolving door at right tackle since Florida State wrapped up a bowl win over Notre Dame nine months ago, with junior college transfer Menelik Watson being the latest lineman to get his turn.
Watson spent much of the first week of fall practice working with the second-team offense, but in the last two Florida State practices he has taken the bulk of the reps with the ones.
Watson has only been playing football for the past few years, having grown up in England. His fundamentals are still a bit raw, but at 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds his physical stature makes him an imposing force.
"He's raw, but when he gets his hands on you, no one's going anywhere," said QB Clint Trickett, who has worked with Watson in the second-team offense through much of fall practice. "I saw him handle (Brandon Jenkins) a couple times."
Watson's first-team reps come at the expense of fellow juco transfer Daniel Glauser, who spent Wednesday's early workouts with the No. 2 unit.
While Bobby Hart had been the starter at right tackle during the final two months of the 2011 season and Bryan Stork appeared to have a handle on the job at the end of spring, head coach Jimbo Fisher said he now sees it as a two-man battle between the two transfers.
"Those two guys are playing right now at right tackle, and they're doing some really good things," Fisher said.
The rest of the line appears somewhat settled with Stork in the middle, Josue Matias and Tre Jackson at the guard spots and Cameron Erving looking exceptional at left tackle.
"Cam Erving's been the most impressive to me," Trickett said. "Cam looks like he's a three-year All-American out there."
Ready to rumble: Wednesday's practice was the last for Florida State before its first scrimmage.
For a bulk of the presumed starters there's not much to prove, but for a number of the highly touted youngsters, Thursday's scrimmage will be a first look at how they perform at game speed.
"It's going to be pretty exciting to see what the young guys do when they get up against each other," safety Lamarcus Joyner said. "We'll see if they go with the flow when the game gets a little bit faster out there. That's the part we're waiting for."
That might be particularly true of freshman corner Ronald Darby, who has earned positive reviews during early practices and could stake his claim to the starting field corner job now held by Nick Waisome.
"We've been rotating there at corner with a couple different guys," Fisher said. "(Darby) is doing a really good job. He's learning."
Keelin Smith and Colin Blake, the other top options at corner, have both been limited during practice. Blake has been in a non-contact jersey for the past week, while Smith has been sidelined with a knee injury.
Meanwhile, senior Chris Thompson has looked strong since returning from a broken back, and he has gotten the majority of the reps with the No. 1 offense. Thursday's scrimmage should provide the veteran with his biggest test yet.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how Thompson will perform after coming back from that injury," Joyner said.
Extra points: Florida State's kick return drills included a bevy of potential options, including Darby, Joyner, Marvin Bracy, Karlos Williams and Rashad Greene. … Safety Terrence Brooks continues to wear a blue non-contact jersey during practice but has not appeared limited during workouts. … Greg Dent is still in a non-contact jersey following an offseason knee injury, too, but he continues to earn raves from coaches and teammates for his improved play so far. "You would think that he had some magic potion or something," Trickett said. "He's been playing his butt off."
5dDavid M. Hale
5dDavid M. Hale