Dontae Lucas, Mike Arnold vying for starting spot

There’s no question that the expectations for Florida State true freshman offensive guard Dontae Lucas were elevated following a season that saw the Seminoles field arguably the worst offensive line in the country. To his credit, Lucas has answered the call to this point and he’s right in the thick of things to earn a starting spot to open the season.

The former four-star prospect is battling with returning starter Mike Arnold to take over at right guard. Arnold played in all 12 games in 2018 while starting in 11. But, like the rest of the offensive line, his performance left a lot to be desired and playing time is no guarantee under new coach Randy Clements.

Clements seemingly already has an idea of who he expects to field on his front five to open 2019, outside of the flip-flop right guard. Consistently since fall camp has begun, we’ve seen Jauan Williams at left tackle, Brady Scott at left guard, Baveon Johnson at center, Lucas/Arnold at right guard, and Ryan Roberts at right tackle.

Ever since early enrolling in January, Lucas has brought an edge that was missing from a unit that collapsed both physically and mentally last year. He’s attacked every opportunity to be apart of the change that head coach Willie Taggart is trying to instill at Florida State and his approach hasn’t gone unnoticed. I’ve mentioned before that what Lucas is in the process of doing is very impressive, very few true freshmen start at major college football programs along the offensive line.

However, the Miami native came to Tallahassee with a frame that was already mature enough to play at the collegiate level coupled with talent and an indomitable will. We’ve already seen Lucas speak up to veterans and during fall camp he’s typically always at the front of every drill, whether he’s participating or not, just to get mental reps. It really just shows how locked in he is so early in his career.

With Florida State on the cusp of its first game week of the 2019 season, expect Clements to make a final decision on his starting offensive line soon. I think it’d be a major disappointment to ‘Noles fans if we don’t see Lucas with the starters when FSU hits the field against Boise State in Jacksonville.

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