Asking an All-American left tackle to move to center during the season is unorthodox, especially when the 6-foot-5, 313-pound senior is preparing for an NFL future. But Cameron Erving didn't think twice when Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher proposed the change.
"Honestly, when I made the switch a lot of people asked me how I felt about it in terms of the NFL," Erving said at the Scouting Combine. "That wasn't on my mind. I've always been the type of person that does what's best for the team.
"When I moved from defense (after my freshman season), that was what was best for the team. As far as moving from tackle to center, it's what the team needed at the time. So I did it."
Erving's selflessness will soon be rewarded. He excelled in five games at center and enters the draft with rare versatility, something NFL offensive line coaches covet.
"It's definitely a good thing, it's a big positive," Erving said. "I've always taken pride in what I do. So to be able to play center and tackle – haven't played a lot of guard, never played guard, honestly – but knowing that they can stick me in and play guard as well is definitely a plus."
Erving, who is projected to be drafted in the first or second round, believes the experience at tackle and center has made him a more well-rounded offensive lineman. At tackle, he was isolated against speed rushers. At center, he made calls at the line and handled the interior chaos.
"At tackle, things develop a little slower – although you have a lot of great athletes out there on the edge," Erving explained. "When I was at center, things happened real fast and in close proximity. So you'd have to react."
In interview sessions with NFL teams, every prospect will proclaim they're willing to do what's best for the team. Erving has actions to back up those words.
"When I've been in meetings, they'll ask me about center or tackle to see how well I take in the defense," Erving said. "I don't know exactly what certain teams have in store for me. Regardless of where I go, I'll always be the same way in doing whatever the team needs."