Menelik Watson had started just two games before Saturday night, but on Monday morning he was named the ACC Lineman of the week for helping spark a powerful ground that complimented QB EJ Manuel's career night on Saturday.
A ton has been made out of the Florida State offensive tackles so far this year. Cam Erving, Menelik Watson and also Dan Glauser have been under intense scrutiny all season, but thus far in their first two ACC tests have looked solid and have helped the offense steamroll in both games.
Watson missed the start in the Wake game but was back on the field for the game on Saturday night against Clemson. He played a big part in helping free the Seminole backs and EJ Manuel for big gains all night and was recognized by the ACC for his part in it on Monday morning.
"That's well deserved," said EJ Manuel. "I think him and also Bryan Stork as well do a great job as far as their leadership skills on the O-Line. You can see Menelik kind of being that guy that's getting everyone corraled before the game, hyping them up, instead of just coach Trickett doing it.
"Now we have an actual player that's taking the reins of the offensive line, getting them in the mindset to go out there and be physical and that's how they played [Saturday]."
Watson is an interesting story, he hails from Manchester, UK, he was originally a basketball player at Marist before switching sports, playing a year of JuCo and arriving amid much hype in Tallahassee this past offseason.
It hasn't taken him long to catch the eye of his coaches and teammates. Despite playing just eight games in junior college, Watson entered the season as the starting right tackle on a top ten football team. Now, a few games in he's already assumed a leadership role.
"I think Menelik is a guy who's very hungry, he's a guy with a lot of ability and he's progressing very well," said Jimbo Fisher. "He's a very physical guy but you get maturity, he understands urgency– there isn't a lot of time to sit around– he guards well, he's got the physical abilities, he's got the natural instinct to play and he's developing himself into a great player."