A.J. is ready for UM

Florida State fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Opponents can start to worry again. FSU coach Bobby Bowden ended the suspense Monday, telling reporters at the ACC Media Days that star linebackers A.J. Nicholson and Ernie Sims would suit up in the season opener against Miami despite separate run ins with the law over the summer.

There still is a price to pay. Bowden indicated that both would endure "physical pain" for their transgressions.

"I'm just looking forward to the football season," Nicholson said on Monday. "I can't stress that enough. I'm pumped. I'm ready to put the past behind me and get after things."

For Nicholson and company, a long summer is nearing an end. Just one week of conditioning and informal workouts remains. Just a week later, two-a-day practices are set to begin on August 9.

"That'll be just one step closer to actually getting out on the field," Nicholson said. "Just thinking about it…I've played Miami so many times in my mind. I think we're all ready to make these dreams a reality.

"You can tell that it's that time of year again in Tallahassee. There's a buzz and an excitement around town. The people are ready, too."

The mood was light during informal passing drills on Monday as Nicholson, Sims and Buster Davis reminisced about some of last season's action, both complementing each other and kidding each other about different plays.

"We were just recalling some big plays that we made and some big plays that were made against us," Nicholson said. "We're competitive out there, not only with the other team, but with each other. We make each other better."

Nicholson said his paramount goal right now is to break Miami's six-game winning streak.

"If they think they can come into our house and get out of there with a win, they have another thing coming. Sure, they've earned the right to think that way but it's time for us to set them straight."

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