Friday, July 5, 2013
FSU Countdown: RT Bobby Hart
By David M. Hale
Throughout the summer, Nole Nation will be counting down the 40 players we're projecting to make the biggest impact on the Seminoles' 2013 season, taking into consideration everything from experience to potential to their spot on the current depth chart.
Bobby Hart, FSU's starting right tackle in 2011, looks to reclaim his starting spot in 2013.
What he's done: Hart arrived on campus at FSU when he was just 16 years old, and his rise up the depth chart happened almost overnight. During the Seminoles' disastrous 2011 campaign in which numerous linemen went down with injuries and numerous others struggled in all phases of the game, Hart landed a full-time job at right tackle, starting the final eight games of the season there. It seemed the start of a long, successful career, but by the following spring, Hart had run afoul of line coach Rick Trickett and was promptly benched. Hart's lack of progress, questionable work ethic and problematic relationship with Trickett pushed him into a role with the second-team offense. When transfer Menelik Watson arrived for fall camp, the chances of Hart recovering his job evaporated. He spent the entirety of the 2012 season watching from the bench.
Where he's at: If Watson's arrival signaled an end to playing time for Hart, his departure opened the door to a second chance. When Watson left early for the NFL draft, Hart immediately was thrust back into the starting lineup, but this time, he insists he's learned his lessons. Throughout spring practice, that certainly appeared to be the case. While Jimbo Fisher made noise about shifting Bryan Stork out to the edge rather than handing the starting job to Hart, the now 18-year-old junior didn't flinch. He performed well throughout the spring, and he's still hanging on to his spot on the depth chart as FSU preps for fall camp.
What's to come: There may be no player on FSU's roster as hard to project as Hart. Clearly, his talent is immense. The question has always been maturity, and while he handled himself well during the spring, the real concerns begin now that he appears to be safety atop the depth chart once again. If he backslides, it could be disastrous for FSU's line, which lacks much depth. If he surges forward, it could help make the Seminoles line one of the best in the country. Odds are the real results will be somewhere in between, and matching the production Watson' provided a year ago will be no easy task. But if Hart can simply maintain a consistent mental approach, he should improve as the season goes along.