The Performer

Who says nothing interesting ever comes out of the spring game? While most fans will flock to Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday to get a firsthand look at the quarterback race, DT Clifton Dickson hopes he can also provide some entertainment value.

If Dickson performs like he has all spring, he'll make a living in the offensive backfield. But he's been holding the celebration off until the Garnet and Gold game, when he plans to showcase the standing backflip that he has recently mastered.

"Spring game, I'll show all you guys that," he said. "Bring your Kodak cameras out. It'll be something special."

Dickson's spring play has coaches and teammates hoping he will be something special on the defensive front, a la Travis Johnson and Darnell Dockett from the past two seasons. Dickson tallied 2.5 sacks and six tackles-for-loss in 2004, his first season in coach Odell Hagins' regular rotation.

Unofficially, he has 11 sacks in scrimmage situations this spring, although that stat can get inflated because of the green on-contact jerseys FSU's three scholarship quarterbacks wear. (On some plays officials have blown the play dead on a scramble even before the quarterback was tagged.)

Dickson says there's no mystery in his offseason preparation.

"I've just been trying to stay healthy and work on my assignments," he said. "You know, try to stay fundamentally sound. Don't get overweight. Get treatment. Eat right."

Now the senior statesman along with Kamerion Wimbley on the defensive line, Dickson says he's confident that the infusion of several new names will produce results.

"Right now everyone wants to say, ‘oh we're young, we're young', but we don't really have inexperience working against us. Most of us have a lot of playing time under our belts as much as we rotate in."

Playing to the strongest facet of its depth chart, FSU may look for a way to bring more linebackers in the field, something Dickson says he's open to.

"Around the locker room, we call those our NFL plays. Coach Steele comes from the NFL bringing in this kind of stuff…It's a different look for us that's going to make the offense account from where all our guys are going to be."

If the season pans out anything like spring scrimmages, that new look will free up Dickson to wreak more havoc and turn backflips to celebrate.

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