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FAU Football Spring Preview: Defensive Backs

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FAU Football Spring Preview: Defensive Backs




Returning:
Keith Reaser (45 tackles, 2 INT)
Cre’von LeBlanc (42 tackles, 4 PBU)
D’Joun Smith (25 tackles, 1 INT, 8 PBU)
Jeremy McKnight (28 tackles 1 INT)
Winfred Strickland (24 tackles 1 INT)
Christian Milstead (24 tackles)
Damian Parms Jr. (20 tackles)
Sharrod Neasman (11 tackles)
Adrian Burton
Shaheem Sutherland
David Lozandier
Josh Orsino

Newcomers:
None.

On the Way:
Marc Mauro
Tyler Henderson
Robert Miller
Marcus Clark
Lester Thomas
Ronnie Scott
Reggie Brown

-Stats are from last season.

Overview: Florida Atlantic losses just one starter at defensive back from last season and welcomes back almost the entire secondary. Senior cornerback Keith Reaser (pictured above) has started 27 games and has recorded five career interceptions. On the other side of Reaser is junior D’Joun Smith, who has seen extended action over the past two seasons. Senior Jeremy McKnight returns at free safety while senior Winfred Strickland will try to secure the strong safety position after the graduation of Brent Harstad. McKnight started five games last season before missing time with an injury, while Strickland recorded six tackles and an interception against Troy. The nickelback position is held by Cre’von LeBlanc and Christian Milstead, who both were integral members of the defense last year. LeBlanc started nine games as a true freshman and finished seventh on the team in tackles. Milstead, a former Navy transfer, started four games over the course of the season and spelled LeBlanc when neccessary. Damian Parms Jr. and David Lozandier are candidates to see playing time and compete at safety while Sharrod Neasman and Adrian Burton could work into the rotation at corner. Marc Mauro will join the team this summer out of junior college and is expected to be in the mix for the starting free safety position.

Player on the Spot: - Cre’von LeBlanc - LeBlanc didn’t play in the first two games last season because of academic issues, but once he was cleared he started as a true freshman at Georgia. LeBlanc is a physical defensive back that can contribute to the run defense. With FAU looking to approve against the rush, the nickelback will be asked to play closer to the line of scrimmage.

Remember the Name: - Adrian Burton - Burton redshirted last year after an injury resulted in shoulder surgery before the start of the season. The cornerback was impressive in last year’s fall camp and should pick up where he left off this spring. It wouldn’t be surprising if his name was in the rotation at corner.

Key Stat: - 8 - The Owls managed just eight interceptions last season, which was their lowest total in three seasons. Winning the turnover battle is key in football, and the secondary is essential in that department.

Forecast: Statistically speaking FAU had one of the top pass defenses in the Sun Belt Conference last season. The squad returns almost all of that production and will have a few new individuals that can make a difference. Look for Reaser and Smith to continue to be the regulars at corner with LeBlanc at nickelback and McKnight at strong safety. Expect Strickland and Parms to compete for the other safety position and Mauro once he arrives on campus. The secondaries focus this spring should be getting everyone repetitions in practice.

Up Next: Special Teams

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: FAU Football Spring Preview: Defensive Backs

Reaser has NFL talent I hope he has a great season... David Lozandier is really really fast if I remember correctly
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Re: FAU Football Spring Preview: Defensive Backs

owlmart said

Reaser has NFL talent I hope he has a great season…

+1
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Re: FAU Football Spring Preview: Defensive Backs

Hopefully we have a good pass rush and Reaser will be able to get more INT's…
He's a great cover corner and a possible first three rounds NFL draft pick….elite speed, great ball skills….
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Re: FAU Football Spring Preview: Defensive Backs

not putting down the DB's because i actually think they're the best part of the defense but the reason they had a good season was because grandma could run up the middle for six yards with her walker every play. the d-line and lb's need to step it up this season.

I'm really hoping these JC guys can plug some holes. Year two would have probably seen a winning sunbelt record but now in conference USA its gonna be tougher. the top teams in conf USA are generally in and out of the top 25, definitely the top 50 where as the sunbelt there was generally one team in the top 50 and everyone else 80+ rpi. that makes a big difference.
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Re: FAU Football Spring Preview: Defensive Backs

Exit39 said

not putting down the DB's because i actually think they're the best part of the defense but the reason they had a good season was because grandma could run up the middle for six yards with her walker every play. the d-line and lb's need to step it up this season.

I'm really hoping these JC guys can plug some holes. Year two would have probably seen a winning sunbelt record but now in conference USA its gonna be tougher. the top teams in conf USA are generally in and out of the top 25, definitely the top 50 where as the sunbelt there was generally one team in the top 50 and everyone else 80+ rpi. that makes a big difference.

True about CUSA BUT many of the best teams have left (UCF, Houston, SMU) leaving Tulsa and La. Tech in the west (we miss both this season!) and East Carolina & Marshall in the east as the better teams (strange not to mention S. Miss ain't it?).
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