A Simple Man From Sweet Home Alabama
Dean is one of the top fullbacks in the ACC.
Oct. 3, 2005
Senior fullback B.J. Dean hails from Tuscaloosa, Ala. Growing up in Alabama, Dean was just like most natives of the south.
"I love hunting, fishing, country music, football and NASCAR," Dean said. "My mom would not let us listen to rap music growing up. We came up with '80s music. She opened me up to different types of music. A lot of it (country music) relates to me as far as the stories that are told. Some of the things that they have been through, I have been through."
It is not unusual to see Dean walking around singing a country song. "Lynyrd Skynyrd, `Simple Man,'" Dean said. "That song sums me up the best."
Dean chose Florida State in the fall of 2001 over Alabama and LSU.
"I am an Alabama fan but my momma and I thought that it would be best if I got out of there and we decided on Florida State," Dean said.
"I just loved the school and I wanted to get out of Tuscaloosa. I followed Florida State football when I was growing up. I would record the games and watch them later. I liked the players they had here and liked what the coaching staff did for their players. It just felt like home."
When Dean came to Florida State he was expecting to play a position he was familiar with. Due to a crowd of other players at linebacker and a lack of depth at full-back, he was asked to make the transition.
"I could play earlier at fullback and possibly even start at fullback," Dean said, but that would not come as easy to him as he thought. "It was a tough adjustment because of learning how to block and how to catch a ball. I never played a position where I just had to catch a ball. The plays are a whole lot different.
Other than that, we do the same thing as linebackers do and that is just hit someone on every play."
The move has been a successful one for Dean. He has started 23 games in his career at Florida State.
He helped lead a rushing attack that ranked at the top of the ACC last season.
"The biggest difference is controlled aggression, having to control how you go at people and how you adjust to blocking," Dean said. "Not trying to flat head everybody on every play. Sometimes you will have to shield block or block a certain way. At line-backer you would have to take your key, read somebody and then make a play."
Dean has the nickname to go with the position. Many of his teammates and coaches call him Bulldog.
"Coach Kines (former linebackers coach) and Coach Andrews started calling me Bulldog because they said that I looked like I bulldog when I run," Dean said.
Every time he runs with the football something positive comes out of it. Dean has never in his career been dropped for a loss of yards. That would include 30 career attempts that resulted in three touchdowns. Bulldog has always been a team player.
Whether it was helping out his team by switching positions or lead blocking for Leon Washington or Lorenzo Booker, he does what it takes to help his team win football games. He remembers when his team won the ACC and he wants to win another title.
"Just doing my part, whatever the coaches require of me to do," Dean said. "Trying to help motivate my teammates and help push them in practice. Help get my teammates and myself better everyday.
Doing whatever the coaches ask of me.
"If we stay focused and keep getting better every day, we are going to be able to get a chance at playing in Jacksonville."
You can tell Dean has won over his teammates and his coaches not only with his play on the field but also with his leadership ability.
"He just has a great spirit. He is a very physical player that gives everything he has got," running backs coach Billy Sexton said.
"He is very emotional player that just really loves the game and enjoys the game."
That is just what it is going to take from the senior in order to get his Florida State team back not only to the top of the ACC but the nation's elite as well.
By Andy Cunningham
FSU Sports Information