New and Improved

Florida State fullback <b>B.J.Dean</b> has changed his body -- for the better. Dean is tipping the scale at 249 pounds, and he's much thicker across the shoulders and chest. Offensive lineman <b>Bobby Meeks</b> also is feeling better after struggling with injuries and inflamed tonsils last year. The pair is looking to help make the Seminoles' offense, which is expected to feature a recovered <b>Cro Thorpe </b> (pictured), one of the nation's best.

Florida State opened its summer conditioning session on Monday. The Seminoles' mood isn't much different from past summers.

Players are spirited and energized, pointing to a season of new goals and expectations.

Still, that's an important part of the process, and two players -- fullback B.J. Dean and offensive lineman Bobby Meeks look and sound good.

Dean is tipping the scales at 249 pounds, a career high, and his upper body is far more muscular and thicker than last season. His smile went from ear-to-ear when talking about his progress Wednesday afternoon prior to drills.

"I've been losing a lot of body fat and gaining a lot of lean muscle," I haven't lost too much weight - but it's muscle. I feel a lot better," Dean said.

Dean, however, isn't satisfied. He wants to improve his speed and lose around five pounds before the start of two-a-day practices in August.

"I feel a lot faster but I won't be able to tell until we do some testing and I get into better shape," Dean said. "I am trying to come in for two-a-days at 245, and I haven't done that since I've been here.

"I am working hard. Real hard."

Ditto for offensive lineman Bobby Meeks, who was plagued by a shoulder injury and various breathing problems last season due to inflamed tonsils. He also suffered sleeping woes.

Meeks sounds and feels good.

"I am pretty much all recovered. My shoulder is doing good and the tonsils and everything are fine," Meeks said.

"I am sleeping better and I am feeling a lot more rested. I feel a lot better."

Meeks, who weighs around 300 pounds and appears to be in solid shape, has been impressed with the Seminoles' spirt.

"Everyone has been showing up," Meeks said. "We have some guys who aren't even in summer school who are out here working. That's a plus. That's great for the team."

Meeks also realizes the importance of the upcoming season due to one important reason -- he's a senior.

"This is my last go-around," Meeks said and smiled. "We want to make it as good as we can and try to win one (national title) before we get out of here."


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