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Sun Sentinel


Owls' selling point: Early playing time

By Ted Hutton
STAFF WRITER
Posted January 30 2005

While the loss of 28 seniors will be tough for Florida Atlantic to overcome, it gives the Owls' recruiters a selling tool: The opportunity to start as a freshman.

"We're going from one of the most experienced teams in the country to one of the least experienced," FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said. "But the beauty of it is we can tell recruits they have a chance to contribute right away."

So far the sales pitch has been working. FAU, which intends to sign the NCAA maximum 25 players, has 21 oral commitments and is entertaining a dozen recruits this weekend. Oral commitments are non-binding and the Owls won't know for sure who will be coming until National Signing Day on Wednesday.

"We're very pleased with where we are at this juncture," Schnellenberger said. "We've moved up in class and the pedigrees of recruits we're competing for is elevated."

After going 11-4 in 2003 and 9-3 last year, FAU will be completing its transition from Division I-AA to I-A and joining the Sun Belt Conference this fall.

The Owls have done well in Broward County, with Deerfield Beach running back Rod Ferguson, Ely tight end Michael Holton and offensive lineman Kevin Miller of Northeast all indicating they will sign with FAU.

FAU has also found talent in the Tampa area, attracting wide receiver Conshario Johnson and running back Willie Rose.

"All in all we're going to have a good show, and we're feeding higher up on the food chain and upgrading individual talents," Schnellenberger said. "Considering where we are in our development, the value of this class becomes very high."


Palm Beach Post


FAU pleased with quality of latest class
By Marcus Nelson

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday, January 30, 2005

With 20 oral commitments, Florida Atlantic doesn't need a big closing weekend to solidify its recruiting class.

The Owls, who have relied on late rallies to build their classes in the past, already may have landed their best recruiting class to date and are hoping to use the last few days to make the group stronger.


FAU hosted more recruits this weekend, but landed the bulk of the class in the past two weekends.

"We're down to the last few that we need to see and need to see us," FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said. "We've had a great reception and we potentially have an opportunity to really upgrade our program."

The players who have committed to FAU have some impressive rsums.

Oakland Park-Northeast's Kevin Miller may be the Owls' biggest recruit, in more ways than one.

Not only did Miller attract attention from established Division I-A programs as a junior, but he could be the first player in FAU history to weigh 300 pounds while still in high school. The 6-foot-3 offensive lineman said last week he weighs 304 pounds.

"Since FAU started, I've always been interested in them," Miller said. "I know they are moving up and I'll be there moving with them."

Miller, who was a Class 5A All-State honorable mention selection and was named to the Broward All-Star team that played in the South Florida All-Star Game against Miami-Dade County, said Virginia, Rutgers, Syracuse, Miami, Auburn, Florida and UCF all expressed interest in him.

Other players who could make an immediate impact and have committed to FAU are Chiefland receiver-safety Cortez Gent, who was the runner-up for Class A Player of the Year, Pompano Beach-Ely tight end Michael Holton, Deerfield Beach running back Roderick Ferguson and Tampa-Middleton receiver Conshario Johnson.

Locally, the Owls have received commitments from Jupiter receiver John Jones, who led Palm Beach County in receiving, and Fort Pierce Central defensive tackle John Mertilus.

FAU is hoping to sign around 25 players this season, which would give the Owls their second large class as it prepares to move to I-A.

"We're on a roll," Schnellenberger said. "We've had the opportunity to bring in quality individuals and are able to bring in a high number of players to the squad."




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This is all great news! I foresee us increasing our talent year by year. Kevin Miller sounds like a great pickup at 300+ lbs while still in H.S… assuming the oral commitment stays intact.

We'll be getting better year by year.. watch out FSU, UF, and Miami!
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I can wait to get a glisp of this new team we will have come spring time - time to start learning about all these new players.

Go Owls!!
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