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FSU's Cam Erving thriving at center, happy wherever in NFL

LOS ANGELES -- On a team loaded with NFL prospects on both sides of the ball and a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback directing its offensive attack, Florida State does not lack for players to keep an eye on as they head to the Rose Bowl against Oregon on New Year's Day.

But perhaps the most interesting player showcasing his potential in front of scouts in Pasadena is Seminoles offensive lineman Cam Erving. He's listed endearingly at that general position because he was an All-American at left tackle last season, but slid over along the line to become the starting center prior to FSU's game against Miami (Fla.) due to various injuries.

The move has certainly paid off for the undefeated Seminoles, who have only given up two sacks since shuffling players around.

"It's been a good transition," Erving said. "The most important job is to get the quarterback the ball. I just had to make sure my snaps were good and I got the ball to him before I started taking off (to block). I had a little trouble with that earlier in the season before playing center because I was nervous about that."

The position switch had been in the back of the mind of coaches for some time, with Erving getting reps in the middle of the line all the way back in camp. Back then it was planning ahead in case of injuries, which naturally affected the team as they slogged through ACC play in 2014.

The fact that the transition has been effortless on the field though may be because it's nothing new for Erving. He played in every game in 2011 at defensive tackle before transitioning to offense the following spring. Though he notes it's still sometimes disconcerting to look down and then back up before snapping the ball while seeing something totally different from the defense, Erving's veteran presence and high-level play since moving inside has been key to the team keeping its 29-game win-streak alive this year.

"All offensive linemen have to do the same thing. But being by yourself vs. having help is different," added Erving. "Sometimes at center you don't even have a man specifically because you're helping other people. At left tackle, you have this guy or this guy. The transition has been pretty smooth."

Despite thriving at center in what he labeled a volunteer role that he had no qualms signing up for, the senior is unsure where he will wind up playing in the NFL when the time comes. He said he has no preference as to whether his future lies at tackle, center or even guard, but none of that appears to matter to the affable 6-foot-6, 310 pounder until after he wraps up his college career in the next two weeks.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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