FAU’s Road to Signing Day 2014: Defensive Line
The Skinny: New head coach Charlie Partridge has been a career defensive line coach, but he's turned the unit over to assistant Roc Bellantoni, who previously served under the same title at Villanova. Bellantoni is an adequate recruiter, and that should come in handy, as the Owls need to reload along the line. This time last year, one of the focuses for FAU was adding depth to the group, and the staff was able to bring in four able bodies. The Owls already have one lineman committed in Hunter Snyder this year, but are currently pursuing a number of others. Bellantoni should be looking to add at least two more linemen to the class before signing day.
Hunter Snyder - East Lake (Tarpon Springs, Fla.) - A holdover from the previous staff, Snyder earned a scholarship offer after he clocked a 4.5 40-yard dash at a developmental camp over summer. Synder is raw, but the 6-foot-6, 221 pound defensive end has a similar frame to Trey Hendrickson when he came out of high school. He will take his official January 17th.
Markel Winters - Rickards (Tallahassee, Fla,) - Winters (pictured above) is a two-star defensive end that boasts double-digit offers from a wide range of schools. He was looking at Northern Illinois, Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky, before FAU recently got involved with Bellantoni. He will visit the weekend of January 24th with teammate Malik Slater. If the Owls could lock down the pair down, that could be the one of the first real wins of recruiting season.
Marquis Daniel - Niceville (Niceville, Fla.) - Like Winters, Daniel hails from Florida’s Panhandle. He’s a 6-foot-3, 215 pound linemen that fits the mold of a weak-side defensive end. He’s claiming an offer from Eastern Kentucky, but the Owls are also involved. Daniel will visit the weekend of January 24th.
Ray Ellis - Holy Spirit (Absecon, Nj.) - It’s rare for FAU to dip into New Jersey for a prospect, but there are two reasons the Owls are courting Ellis. He’s a defensive tackle that can play the five and seven-technique, and he was previously being recruited by Bellantoni at Villanova. Ellis has already taken an official to Bowling Green, and is set to visit Delaware on January 17th, but he will also visit FAU the weekend of the 24th.
Isaiah Buehler - Apopka (Apopka, Fla.) - Buehler is a 6-foot-3 defensive end who was offered by the previous coaching staff. Bellantoni has since made contact with Buehler, but it’s hard to gage the Owls’ interest. Buehler is leaning towards Charleston Southern as of now, but is also hearing from the likes of Georgia Southern and FIU.
Auggie Amone - Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) - Amone is a 6-foot-1, 225 pound linebacker who projects as a defensive end in college. His family is of Tongan descent, and his brother signed a scholarship to play at BYU a few years back. Amone has been offered by FCS schools like Youngstown State and Marist, but doesn't hold an offer from FAU. This appears to be a back-up plan for now.
Others to Watch:
DT Justin Sibole (American Heritage, Fla.); DE Christian Gill (Navarre, Fla.); DE Antonio Joseph (Wharton, Fla.); DE Tyree Horton (South Dade, Fla.); DT Mark Kelly (Dwyer, Fla.).