Hurricanes defensive tackle Calvin Heurtelou came into spring practice eight months ago overweight and out of shape.

He's hardly that guy anymore. He has been outstanding in camp in the eyes of his teammates and defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio, and Heurtelou said Thursday his confidence playing nose guard is growing.

"I figured out I'm one hell of a player in this 3-4 defense," Heurtelou said. "I realized I've made progress since I've been here. It was a new position for me, but I've done well the last three weeks."

Heurtelou said he played the 4-3 defense in junior college, so it took him some time to adjust. When he arrived at Miami in January, he weighed 330 pounds. He lost 25 pounds on a vegetable and low-carb diet and then gained 10 pounds of muscle over the summer. He posted the third-most bench-press reps (33 of the NFL-testing standard of 225 pounds) on the team his summer.

"Calvin's got a lot of energy, really strong guy," senior defensive end Anthony Chickillo said. "He comes to work every day. He's just what you want inside. I'm really happy with Calvin's progress, and he just needs to keep getting better."

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