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FAU's Pre Spring Herald Report

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FAU's Pre Spring Herald Report

LB: Shomari will suprise some folks. He's faster than Swain and reads the plays very well. He's currently a 6'3+ player. Still growing! ;D

OL: I hope that Stetson Wilson (6'5 300lbs) get a shot at the OL position left vacant by Campos. Faulk is ok but a little light for the every play position. He looked good during his subbing last year. Can he get it done on every play?

Good news: No mention of Rosas getting rejected by the NCAA… :)




Posted on Tue, Mar. 23, 2004

The high fives: Florida Atlantic Owls

As spring practice begins, here are five key questions for five of the state's teams.


1.Who will replace middle

linebacker Quentin Swain?

The good news is Swain (6-0, 230) is just one of only two key losses for the Owls, who primarily play a 4-3 defense. After being beset with injuries at defensive tackle during the 2003 season, the Owls implemented the 3-4 and inside linebacker Shomari Earls (6-2, 225) took advantage, receiving quality playing time.

Earls, who also saw playing time as a true freshman in 2002, will be tested as the man in middle of the 4-3 in 2004.

2.Who will replace right tackle Ken Campos?

The offensive line was awful in 2002 but became a major strength of the team in 2003 – thanks in part to Campos (6-5, 280), who will enter the NFL draft. Nello Faulk (6-6, 245), one of two true freshmen to see playing time on the line in 2003, will be the top candidate to replace Campos.

3.What will the new class bring?

With a jump to Division I-A in 2004, FAU signed its largest class with 23 student-athletes committing to attend FAU in the fall. (23 players).

The new players – including LB Andre Clark (Pace), RB Anthony Heard (Taravella), DE E.J. Jones (Southwest), CB Steve Williams (Chaminade-Madonna) – might get an opportunity to play in a I-A schedule next season as the team makes a transition into the Sun Belt Conference in the program's fourth season. Williams will most likely see action as a special teams player.

4.What kind of impact will Gary Nord make?

Nord, a new assistant coach who will primarily work with the quarterbacks, was on coach Howard Schnellenberger's staffs at Louisville and Oklahoma. He served as Louisville's offensive coordinator during the rise to top 10 status and as Oklahoma's offensive coordinator during Schnellenberger's tenure.

Nord just completed his fourth season as coach of Texas El Paso, where his record was 14-34. In 2000, the Miners ranked 22nd nationally in scoring offense. He has experience working with a young team, finishing the 2001 season with 25 freshmen and sophomores listed on the two-deep chart.

5.Can the Owls handle success and the progression into

Division I play?

Schnellenberger garnered some interest in FAU football nationally because of his name. After last season's postseason run, it's Schnellenberger's team that is gaining respect nationwide. The Owls soared to a 10-game winning streak and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Division I-AA Tournament. They will leave the Atlantic Sun and Division I-AA and join the Sun Belt Conference (Arkansas State, Idaho, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico State, North Texas State, Utah State), with the intention of playing Division I-A football, a two-year process before full membership is granted.

They won't be bowl eligible, but can Cinderella keep wearing her glass slipper? The players need to prepare themselves physically and mentally – starting with spring practice.

– JIM VARSALLONE

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FAU's Pre Spring Herald Report

Varsallone left Troy (soon to be minus State") University from his SunBelt mix.
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