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Insider

Carrying the Spear: OT Bobby Hart

7/18/2012

During the final 10 weeks before the season kicks off, NoleNation will march through the depth chart to analyze Florida State's top 50 contributors for the 2012 season. From Austin Barron to Vince Williams, we'll review each player's career, evaluate his role in 2012 and project what might be in store down the road.

Bobby Hart

Offensive Tackle, Sophomore, 6-foot-5, 314 pounds

Looking back: Hart arrived on campus at Florida State as a 16-year-old freshman, but he developed quickly. In part, that was due to his innate ability and massive size. But his fast track in 2011 was also necessitated by the Seminoles' needs during a season filled with injuries. In the end, the No. 4 overall offensive tackle in his class wound up starting the final nine games of the season at tackle -- eight on the right side -- and wound up being one of the more consistent performers on the young line despite some growing pains along the way.

Right now: The trial by fire appeared to give Hart a leg up as the competition on the offensive line heated up this spring, but his grasp on the starting job might not be completely firm. Still just 17, Hart figures to have plenty of room to develop, but the question is whether he'll be asked to do that as a starter when camp opens or whether he'll take a backseat to junior Bryan Stork, who appeared to have a more impressive spring practice. Given Stork's experience and Hart's ability, this should be one of the more interesting battles throughout fall camp.

Looking ahead: Regardless of who ends up with the starting job to open the season, it's impossible to deny Hart's ability. He'll be 18 when the season begins, and it's possible he could tip the scales at more than 320 pounds with an exceptional foundation and strong footwork. And while the battle between Stork and Hart -- and potentially junior college transfer Menelik Watson -- is far from settled, it's a good bet that the intense competition will make all three players better. In the long term, Hart's upside is enormous, so whether it's an extra year of experience or an extra year of studying, there's a good chance 2012 will bring him even closer to reaching that potential.