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FAU Recruiting Notebook 1/3: OL Jace Banfell names Owls leader; Bland recruiting

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FAU Recruiting Notebook 1/3: OL Jace Banfell names Owls leader; Bland recruiting



Banfell, DT Ke’tyrus Marks and OL Kyle Schafenacker all set visits

With January 3rd marking the end of the winter "dead period', there is plenty of recruiting news floating around.

National signing day is a little over a month away, and the Owls' coaching staff is hitting the home stretch on the recruiting front and looking to close out strong.

Pensacola Catholic OL Jace Banfell recently named FAU his leader and he is set to take his official visit to campus on January 18th. Banfell (pictured) is listed at 6-foot-3, 280 pounds and hails from the northern part of the state. While his recruitment has been pretty quite up and till this point, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if he pulls the trigger and commits on his visit.

“I have talked to him three or four times over Facebook and I really do think he’s going to commit,” St. Thomas Aquinas OL Austin Blandsaid.

Bland has been pledged to the Owls since the summer, but has now focused his efforts on communicating with fellow recruits and trying to bring them to FAU.

“I’m just trying to make my future team better,” Bland said. “When recruits see that a committed player is trying to recruit them – I think they like that and take recognition.”

Banfell isn't the only lineman Bland is working on; he is also after one of his high school teammates and current Connecticut commitment OL Kyle Schafenacker.

The duo is scheduled to visit the same weekend as Banfell, and if everything goes right the Owls could have a good chance at flipping Schafenacker.

“He’s committed to UConn, but I don’t know why. He’s never been there, and he’s going to freeze his butt off when he goes up there,” Bland said. “His mother just recently had a baby last week and me and coach Meadows where talking about how hopefully that might hit him and he might want to stay home.”

With January 18th already set to be an important recruiting weekend, January 11th is looking to be an even more crucial date for official visitors.

Suncoast DT Ke’tyrus Marks  is one of over ten prospects expected to be in Boca Raton.

FAU was one of the first schools to offer Marks but since then UMass, Robert Morris, Tennessee State, and Alcorn State all have extended offers to the prospect. At 6-foot-2, 275 pounds the lineman is a force between the trenches and was recently selected to the Palm Beach Post’s All-Conference First-Team after notching a school-record 16 sacks his senior season.

The Owls were able to add two junior college defensive tackles in the early signing period, but could benefit from developing Mark’s size and motor.

Along with the tackle, Port St. Luice ATH DJ Juste is slated to be on campus that weekend for a visit. FAU likes Juste as a quarterback while other schools such as Illinois want him as a wide receiver. The only other trip that the prospect has scheduled is to Georgia Southern later in the month.



- When news broke last week that DL/ST coach Brett Diersen had departed FAU for a position at Northern Illinois, it impacted two specific recruits more than anyone else. Chamberlin DB Ronnie Scott and Jesuit DB Reggie Brown – two FAU commits – knew Diersen as their primary recruiter. Despite the coaching change, the two defenders remained firmly pledged to the Owls and both are set to officially visit on January 11th.

- Another player affected by the Diersen shuffle is Olympia DE Ramar Dennis. The prospect’s main contact at FAU was coach Diersen, but since the change he has been able to keep touch with head coach Carl Pelini. Dennis tweeted yesterday that he has set an official visit to campus on January 18th.

- Current Owls’ commitment Pine Forest RB Rashaad Lee is set to have surgery on his knee Thursday morning to repair his MCL and PCL. Lee injured his knee in the third game of the season, but expects to be fully recovered by the time he arrives on campus this summer.

- Gainesville RB Rapheal Webb holds over ten offers, but has set just two official visits – to FAU on January 11th and Boston College on January 18th. He stands at 5-foot-9, 190 pounds and could become the biggest running back in the Owls recruiting class.

- According to Chris Nee, Niceville OL Nick Haynes has picked up and offer from FAU. Rated as a three star prospect by 247 Sports, Haynes has been offered by UCF, Western Kentucky and Southern Miss. With a pair of those schools experiencing coaching changes, FAU may have a chance to step in and make an impression.

- Boyd Anderson QB Greg Hankerson is still being recruited by the Owls, but has yet to set up an official visit date. He claims that Cincinnati has recently entered the picture and could offer down the road. Bethune Cookman and Appalachian State are also involved.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: Andrewrivins@gmail.com
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Re: FAU Recruiting Notebook 1/3: OL Jace Banfell names Owls leader; Bland recruiting

As always, great job! Thanks for all the work you put into this. I'm sure it's very time consuming. Thanks again, I enjoy reading your recruiting articles

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: FAU Recruiting Notebook 1/3: OL Jace Banfell names Owls leader; Bland recruiting

Austin Bland impresses me more and more everyday, not only is he gung-hoe over coming to FAU, but pushing other kids to come here as well. Great kid, great player, from a great school, very proud to have him as an Owl and everything he brings to the team on and off the field!
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Re: FAU Recruiting Notebook 1/3: OL Jace Banfell names Owls leader; Bland recruiting

Austin Bland is one one of those players to come along every ten years.
I also like the way we attacking the OL and DL so many of your Mid Major spread schools focuns so much on skill positions they end up just getting pushed around in the trenches It get old to see every Belt game a 41 to 45 shootout it would be nice to put the QB on his A** every once in awhile. 
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Re: FAU Recruiting Notebook 1/3: OL Jace Banfell names Owls leader; Bland recruiting

Too bad we cant bring in Alfred Morris, or Lester Jean to show these kids around. lol.
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Re: FAU Recruiting Notebook 1/3: OL Jace Banfell names Owls leader; Bland recruiting

USMCOWL said

Too bad we cant bring in Alfred Morris, or Lester Jean to show these kids around. lol.

hmmm Rusty and Rob should be free this weekend….just sayin  :)
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Re: FAU Recruiting Notebook 1/3: OL Jace Banfell names Owls leader; Bland recruiting

It is nice to see an effort on improving both sides of the line. Games are won and lost on the line. If we could flip Brand's team mate and land Banfell , plus the jucos, I would say the coaches have done a great job.  The two from St. Thomas would be ready to play very quickly. I have a feeling that DJ Juste ,if given the chance to play a primarily run oriented spread , with a few passes mixed in, his athleticism would shine. Time will tell. At least the future line looks to be taking shape
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Re: FAU Recruiting Notebook 1/3: OL Jace Banfell names Owls leader; Bland recruiting

I just saw where Banfell was first team 3A and Rod Johnson, the stud OL from American Heritage, Florida commit was second team.
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Re: FAU Recruiting Notebook 1/3: OL Jace Banfell names Owls leader; Bland recruiting

Bland made first team all state in 7a
WPEC-TV CBS12 News :: - Error - Page Not Found
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Re: FAU Recruiting Notebook 1/3: OL Jace Banfell names Owls leader; Bland recruiting

Bam Howard, All Area Big School Offensive Player of the Year ( Palm Beach Post )
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