OwlBytes: 2020 FAU Football Fall Camp - August 13th
In what has become the Thursday usual, first year FAU Head Coach Willie Taggart met with the media early this afternoon.
"Its been an interesting week in college football" said Taggart, amidst the unclear picture of what the 2020 college football season will look like. However, being back on the football field has provided some therapy for Taggart. "It's been great going out there and watching our guys compete, now that we have been able to practice, we see what we have", he said.
As the dust begins to settle in camp, here is what we learned today about the new look 2020 FAU Owls.
- Replacing Harrison Bryant The Owls will look to replace the production from former TEs Harrison Bryant and John Raine from last season where the two combined for 13 touchdowns. Bryant, was recently drafted in the 4th round by the Cleveland Browns and Raine announced during the offseason he would be attending Northwestern as a graduate transfer. Look for a possible year two jump from redshirt freshman Ryan Cameron. “Ryan comes to work every day with a great attitude, he's an athletic kid, I love being around him, we can ask him to block, but we can also get him out on routes," Taggart said of the Jupiter HS Alum. Leading the way at the position is expected to be University of Miami transfer Michael Irvin II. Also in the mix is redshirt junior Logan Peterson who was a special teams contributor last year. “Those guys have done a great job doing what we have asked them to do, I like who we have there” said Taggart. It appears redshirt freshman Rahmod Smith suffered an offseason injury as he posted a picture of himself wearing a leg brace on social media in June.
- Justin McKithen Playing Cornerback Willie Taggart told reporters today that true freshman Justin McKithen had been taking reps at cornerback. McKithen was expected to play wide receiver, however the Owls will test his tools in the defensive secondary. “He's looked impressive back there," said Taggart. The speedy newcomer is one Owl fans should keep an eye on as he settles into his freshman campaign. The Peachtree state native has been timed as quick as 4.32 in the 40 yard dash.
- LaJohntay Wester Turning Heads One of the early stars of FAU Camp is true freshman WR LaJohntay Wester (photo above). The Palmetto HS alum has been electric in his early days of being an Owl. “That guy is a stud right now, he has gotten the attention of the entire football team.” said Willie Taggart. The electric Wester could be a factor in FAU`s return game in 2020. As a senior at Palmetto HS, Wester had 758 yards and 8 touchdowns.
- Offensive Line Update With Nick Weber shifting over to play center, it is unclear who will takeover at right guard. Expected to be in the mix for more playing time, likely at guard is redshirt freshman Federico Maranges. “We've been moving Frederico around a little bit", said Taggart. Expect Desmond Noel to remain the starter at left guard for the 2020 season. "Ive really been impressed with Desmond (Noel) and what he can do for us", Taggart said. The Owls will also need to replace former left tackle Brandon Walton who is now with the Buffalo Bills. In the mix to fill the vacant starting positions on the offensive line are Devin Hayes, Marquice Robinson, BJ Etienne and Doug Johnson Jr. Rising redshirt freshmen Adarius Tolliver and Deshawn Richardson could factor in as well. "We have been moving guys around, we have treated this week and last week like OTAs" said Taggart.
- Weathering The Storm During a time of great unknown in the college football world, Willie Taggart said his message to his team has been to "be honest with them and to give them all the information we have." This comes as the college football world continues to rock back and forth about playing football during the fall. Earlier in the day, CUSA rival FIU announced they would be delaying the start of their season until September 16th. In support of his coaches, teammates and support staff, redshirt junior running back Tyrek Tisdale tweeted today “I'm playing, I feel safe with FAU coaching staff."
Also, there’s not just one Palmetto High School. There’s one in Miami too. I had to look up just to see which one LaJohntay Wester went to.
McKithen moving to CB is interesting.
FAU does need depth at CB badly and has added a lot of talent at WR and more coming next year.
Could be the fastest route to the field for Justin.
LaJohntay Wester if you guys remember was a bit of signing day surprise.
He was an explosive returner in high school with 7 kick and punts taken back his senior year.
And at right tackle would be Marquis Robinson who I think started last year. So I guess it’s just one Tackle spot up for grabs