All Smiles

<b>D.J Norris</b> could only smile when thinking back on his first day of conditioning at Florida State last summer. Norris, who has gained more than 20 pounds but has dropped body fat since last year, is looking to make a contribution at defensive end this season. Of course, Norris also knows what FSU's newcomers are feeling now as the Seminoles returned to the practice fields for conditioning drills Monday night.

D.J. Norris looked over his shoulder and smiled.

As Florida State players ended Monday night's summer conditioning drills, a handful of newcomers huddled together. They chatted, looked around and appeared somewhat, well, out of place.

It only seemed like yesterday when Norris, a redshirt freshman from Pace High School, was a nervous newcomer on the Seminoles' campus.

"It's crazy. It's like, 'wow.' It doesn't even seem like I've been here a year already," said Norris, who is yes-sir, no-sir polite.

Norris, a defensive end, has made impressive strides during that year, especially with his weight. He has added noticeable bulk and strength and is up to 261 pounds -- nearly 20 from last summer when he reported.

"I feel great," Norris said.

"My body fat has dropped 10 percent from last year, too. It's around 13 or 14 percent. They would like me at 250, around there. I don't want to gain any more weight because I don't want to move to defense tackle. But I love the weight. It feels good. The extra power, you can really tell."

Norris, who played both defensive end positions during spring drills, is looking to make a contribution this season.

Defensive end should certainly be a team strength.

Eric Moore blossomed into one of the Atlantic Coast Conference's top pass-rushers as a junior. Chauncey Davis is expected to build on a 2003 season that saw him finish with just two sacks. However, he finished fourth on the team in quarterback hurries (nine) and tackles for a loss (eight).

Kamerion Wimbley, a junior who has played extensively each of his first two seasons, was the top backup at both end positions in the spring. Willie Jones, Jr., should be fine following last year's Achilles' injury, while Alex Boston and Darrell Burston also are expected to contribute.

"I am just looking to get some experience, get some special teams play," Norris said. "I played both sides (in spring). I just want to get some fourth-quarter action.

"But the mood is great, unbelievable. Everyone is looking toward that first game against Miami. I know I can't wait. I think that's why it's so upbeat this summer -- it's so close playing them (Hurricanes) to open the season."

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