Bunkley, Florida State's talented interior lineman, is currently the starter at noseguard as the Seminoles' head into their third day of preseason practice Friday.
What a difference a year makes, right?
Bunkley, a sophomore from Tampa Chamberlain High, struggled with his weight and the summer heat last August.
"My weight when I first came in was like 295, with like 21 percent body fat," Bunkley said.
"Right now, I'm at 270 with 13 percent body fat. Oh yeah, my first summer here was a serious learning experience."
Well, it appears Bunkley is poised to make a serious contribution to the Seminoles' defense this season. He is currently lining up next to senior Darnell Dockett while fellow senior Jeff Womble continues to round into shape following Achilles tendon surgery. Travis Johnson's legal woes remain unresolved though he continues to practice with the team.
"My first group, I have right now (Darnell) Dockett and (Brodrick) Bunkley, and then I have Charles Howard and (freshman) Clifton Dickson," FSU defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins said following Thursday's practice.
"Then I have Jeff Womble at nose, and the other tackle I have (freshman) Andre Fluelln. And, you know, Travis (Johnson), he'll get in there."
Bunkley says he's fully recovered from 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. If fans are looking for proof, check out Bunkley's squat -- 500 pounds -- during testing. He also had a 31-inch vertical jump.
The 6-3, 270-pound Bunkley said he was not worried about gaining weight during rehabilitation for his knee. Bunkley's physique is imposing, featuring impressive muscle mass across his chest, shoulders and arms
"I think I'm pretty good at managing my weight," Bunkley said.
"I can put on weight when I want to, and I can lose weight when I want to. It depends on how much you eat, and what you eat. Once we started running, I was fine by the beginning of the summer.
"When I came in last year, I was by myself. I can't tell you I was out of shape last year. I was working with Odell, one-on-one. Now, we've got everybody in, so there's more rotation, you get to work in a lot. But it's still hot, and it's still tough. You just have to work through it. Once you're done with this, it's fine."
Once in shape in last season, 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.
FSU's interior line was down to vapors during spring drills due to injuries, but the unit finally back near full strength.
"We have a serious amount of depth," Bunkley said.
"We have enough players to keep everybody fresh in the game, and rotate guys in. Once these freshmen get up with the game – they'll have a great opportunity to play this year – we should be fine.
"Right now I'm number one (starter). Like I say, once those guys get better, I'll probably slide down to number two. We'll see. It depends on how things in the two-a-day sessions go. I'll just go out there and light some heads up."