Tuesday, July 9, 2013
FSU Countdown: No. 19 Josue Matias
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.
What he's done: When Jimbo Fisher and line coach Rick Trickett finally threw up their hands in disgust and turned over the starting lineup in FSU's 2011 bowl game against Notre Dame, Matias was given his first shot at a full-time job. Along with fellow freshman Tre Jackson, the duo worked through some early struggles but, for the first time all season, offered some hope. That carried into 2012, when the two interior linemen helped Florida State to its third-best rushing performance in school history, with three different backs topping the 600-yard mark. Matias was at the forefront of that push, racking up a team-high 31 knockdown blocks.
Where he's at: There's no questioning Matias' standing on the depth chart. Florida State has little in the way of established talent behind him, and he and Jackson will be the Seminoles' starting guards for the next two seasons, barring a major injury. But while Matias took a big step last season at left guard, maintaining those lofty rushing totals while helping protect a first-year starter at quarterback in 2013 will be a significant new challenge.
What's to come: Three offensive guards went in the first 20 selections in this season's NFL draft, and at 6-foot-6, 326 pounds, Matias has the ability to join those ranks in the next year or two. Jimbo Fisher raves about his potential, but consistency remains something of a concern. Matias was good as a sophomore in 2012, but he could be great in 2013 if he can more consistently reach the heights he achieved at times last season. There's a lot of returning experience on the line -- and throughout FSU's offense -- so this season represents a chance for Matias to prove he's not just a big body in the middle, but perhaps a future star.