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RB Manley and the DB's M.A.S.H. unit

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RB Manley and the DB's M.A.S.H. unit

Fumbles hindering FAU back's progress

By Marcus Nelson, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 15, 2004



BOCA RATON – Florida Atlantic running back B.J. Manley has been using his legs to move up the depth chart during spring practice

Unfortunately for Manley, it's his hands that are holding him back

Manley has been one of the Owls' most productive rushers this spring, but has fumbled three times in the team's two scrimmages.

"It seems like Monday, Wednesday and Friday I'm OK, but on Saturday, I have to hold on to the ball," said Manley, who practiced with the scout team during his redshirt season last fall.

But Manley has shown he can run and the only running back that has performed better than Manley is Doug Parker, who will get most of the carries in 2004. Manley is making a case for playing time.

"My cutting and my blocking are much better than last year," said Manley, who is 5-feet-9, 180 pounds. "There are other little things I have to work on, like getting my rhythm."

But he knows what to concentrate on most.

"I just have to work on holding the ball," said Manley, who played at Miami-Norland. "I have to get used to going through the speed of the college game, because it's a lot different than high school."

Coach Howard Schnellenberger knows that as Manley gets more experience in game-situations, he will fumble less.

"The intensity level is higher in scrimmages," Schnellenberger said. "They'll hit him harder and try to strip the ball.

"In early practice he was a star out here. He's still running hard, but he's making poor decisions. But he'll come of age."

Secondary smarting: No FAU defensive back was lost to graduation, but cornerback Willie Hughley is the only one in the unit who started the Owls' playoff game vs. Colgate and is starting now.

Safeties Craig Roundtree and Jerrell Terry are injured and will miss the rest of the spring, giving Cameron Rodgers, Taheem Acevedo, Casey McGahee and Troy Pindell chances to take more repetitions.

The biggest surprise is that cornerback Quincy Skinner, who was tied with Hughley with a team-leading five interceptions in 2003, has been outplayed by Lawrence Gordon. Skinner is taking snaps with the second and third team defense.

Noteworthy: Running back Anthony Jackson returned to practice Wednesday. He had not practiced recently because of academic reasons…. FAU's spring game will be played as a traditional game, not using the scrimmage format. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

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RB Manley and the DB's M.A.S.H. unit

If he can learn to hang on to the ball - Barron may be just actually slip to be third on the depth chart.
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RB Manley and the DB's M.A.S.H. unit

the more new guys that step-up the better. Our running game wasn't anything to brag about last year (although not crying about it last year was a dramatic improvement) ;D
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RB Manley and the DB's M.A.S.H. unit

Our running game is not as bad as the numbers indicate, just image having the OL of a Miami or FSU this offense would absolutely be amazing. We have a pretty good quaterback, swt of receivers, RB's and an awesome TE in Hill.

I look for Doug to have an outstanding year - he has been terrific during spring. IMO, look to see one main back (Parker) with Manley, Barreon & AJ (if he can get his grades in order) getting some carries as well. Manley does need to learn to hold on to the ball - I think Manley hands will inprove - AJ had to overcome the same situation and he had a descent season last year. It's just a matter of getting ajusted to the college speed.

What I have seen in spring we have a great deal to be excited about. My only wish is, beef on the OL & DL - the difference it would make would be astronomical/
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