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"Up Close" with Tony Rodriguez


Florida Atlantic’s defensive secondary is arguably one the strongest units on the team, as it returns all four starters from last season and many players with game time experience. One of those players who has seen game action is redshirt-sophomore safety Tony Rodriguez. Rodriguez had his best game last year at South Carolina recording five tackles and taking snaps with the special team units.

Rodriguez finished the season with 15 tackles and a quarterback hurry, and continued to work in the defensive  and special teams rotation as he developed the safety position, something that had turned out to be relatively familiar to him. Having played wide receiver at Coral Gables High School in Coral Gables, Florida all throughout his high school career, Rodriguez made the switch to the safety position his senior year of high school. Rodriguez then signed with the Owls to play saftey, and redshirted his first year on campus.

Heading into fall camp, he is slated to back-up redshirt-junior Marcus Bartels at strong safety.

Rodriguez recently sat down with us for “Up Close”.

Quick Hits

What is your favorite food?

“I would have to say rice, beans and pork chops.”

What is your pet peeve?

“I hate losing, I really hate it.”

Who is your current off the field role model?

“My mom, because she is a single parent, and things that she has done raising her four kids.”

What are you most proud of?

“Getting to college and not having my mom pay for it.”

What is your major?

“Criminal Justice, I might go behind the scenes a little bit and do something with crime.”

What is your Faith?


Line of scrimmage

What aspect of your game do you feel is your strength?

“I would have to say coming up and hitting.”

What aspect of your game do you feel is your weakness?

“I need to work keening and reading more, and being a little bit more patient.”

Down the field

Besides football, what brought you to FAU?

“Just the location, it’s real close to home.”

What are your goals for the upcoming season?

“Get to another bowl game, and get back in the starting rotation hopefully.”

What game are you looking forward to the most next season?

“USF, because I’m from Tampa and that will be a nice rivalry. I moved to over here in South Florida when I was 11, so I have most of my
childhood memories there.”  

What do you want FAU fans to know about you personally?

“I’m very outgoing, I don’t like being stuck in just one area. I like to play basketball, and I just like to be active. In high school I played
the point guard, shooting guard and small forward positions.”


Coming up, our next player won a state championship in football and baseball while in high school.


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