"I feel great. I feel lighter. This is the best condition I have ever been in," Bunkley said and grinned. "Coming in early (for workouts) has really helped."
FSU coach Odell Haggins is really looking forward to Bunkley's help this season as well. While the Seminoles' interior line is loaded with talent, athleticism and experience, uncertainty remains.
While senior Jeff Womble continues to rehab from Achilles tendon surgery, he's not expected to be full strength at season's start. Fellow veterans Travis Johnson (shoulder) and Darnell Dockett (ankle) also continue to recover from offseason surgery. Additionally, Johnson's legal woes remain unresolved -- he was arrested in April on sexual assault.
The trio accounted for 139 tackles and 29 tackles for loss last season.
Bunkley, a highly-touted sophomore from Tampa Chamberlain, is also on the mend after suffering a torn MCL (left knee) when chop blocked during FSU's win over rival Florida last season. It was the same knee Bunkley had reconstructive surgery on while in high school.
Don't fret, Bunkley smiles, saying he's fully recovered from his recent surgical procedure. If fans are looking for proof, check out Bunkley's recent squat -- 500 pounds. He also had a 31-inch vertical jump. (Bunkley said he did not bench due to a sore right wrist.)
"It's the first time I have squatted in a year, and I maxed out at 500 pounds," Bunkley said as another smile spread across his face.
"I have never squatted 500 pounds in my life. Man, it's a real good start. I was very happy about that."
Fans will also be happy to hear that not only does Bunkley sound great -- his upbeat personality is certainly contagious -- he looks great, weighing in at 270 pounds. Bunkley's physique is imposing, featuring impressive muscle mass across his chest, shoulders and arms. The big fella with the good-natured personality certainly remember what happened last August when he reported for drills.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," he said, howling in laughter.
Bunkley struggled mightily in conditioning drills as he weighed more than 290 pounds. It was not a pretty sight. Once in shape, however, Bunkley demonstrated his ability by playing in eight games as a true freshman. He totaled 13 tackles, one tackle for loss and three quarterback hurries. While he called the Florida game "his moment to shine," a chop blocked ended his season.
"But I am back and I feel great," he said.
"I've dropped about 15 pounds but I want to put about 10 of it because I want to play at 280. I can still move around with that (weight). Endurance is a real big factor, and that's why I am out here working hard, trying to work on my condition and get faster. Last season was a great experience. I learned a lot and I know what I need to do coming into the season."
Bunkley says those goals are not a secret. The same could be said for FSU's list this season. Summer workouts have progressed nicely by all accounts, moving at a brisk pace. But there's still plenty of time for fun as well.
"I have to work on everything -- technique, speed, mechanics, everything," Bunkley said.
"Hopefully we can start off on the right foot against North Carolina. We (interior linemen) should be okay. We have Dockett, Jeff, all those guys back. We feel like a team now. Plus, we have those young cats in Andre (Fluellen) and Clifton (Dickson). We are going to be alright. If we get everything straight, if we play like Florida State can play and we can play as a team, then it will be all good.
"We are out here getting the job done and everyone is coming together."