Darrell Burston found his way onto the field last season as a redshirt freshman and used his instincts and natural ability in five games, making three tackles.
In mop up action in FSU's 56-7 win at Duke, Burston gave the FSU faithful more to cheer about. In the second half, the Fayetteville, Ga. native tallied three QB hurries and dropped Blue Devil signal-caller Chris Dapolito for a loss of 12 and his only sack of the year.
Ever since, Burston has been working on quite possibly his only shortcoming - his lack of size. The 6-2 pass rusher with a 4.45 40 and a 44" vert played at just 226 pounds a year ago, about equal to QB Chris Rix's playing weight.
"Since January, I've able to add about 25 pounds," said Burston, who estimates he's just over 250 right now. "I've gotten quicker, too."
After the spring semester Burston said he spent a couple of weeks working out in Atlanta, which is near his home. Since, he's been a mainstay at optional conditioning routines at the practice fields.
"I knew I had to (get bigger) because I'm stepping into a bigger role this season," he said. "There wasn't really a choice."
Burston said he was 200 pounds when he came to FSU as a linebacker prospect before the depth at the position moved him to the defensive front. As a high school senior, Burston tallied 98 tackles - 19 for a loss - and was rated one of the top-rated LBs in the nation by TheInsiders.com.