OwlBytes: 2020 FAU Football Fall Camp - August 8th
For this the first time during fall camp, defensive players were available to the media today. Last season, FAU had a phenomenal year in the takeaways department finishing 1st in the nation in turnovers. “Everyone is trying to get back into the groove of things”, said senior S Zyon Gilbert. Joining him for media availability was redshirt junior LB Ahman Ross.
This is busy time for those student athletes who are participating in summer courses as the semester ends August 11th. There are many unknowns around the college football landscape as fellow G5 conference the MAC announced earlier today they will not be holding fall football.
Still, the Owls are now 42 days away from their season opener at Georgia Southern. However, today saw the first Owl to opt out of the season due to Covid-19 concerns.
- S Quran Hafiz Opts Out Of Season This afternoon, senior S Quran Hafiz became the first Owl to opt out for the upcoming season, a decision he felt was best for he and his family amidst the pandemic. Hafiz, joined FAU three star recruit from Lane Kiffin`s first 2017 class. In 27 career games as an Owl, Hafiz has 92 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss. “He's my teammate, so nothings going to change that, I just respect his decision, said teammate Ahman Ross. Hafiz served as secondary depth and had a role on special teams.
- The New Look Defense Replacing former DC Glenn Spencer is Jim Leavitt. Last season, Leavitt served as a Defensive Analyst under Willie Taggart at Florida State. The longtime defensive mind is expected to bring his 3-4 scheme with him to Boca Raton.“As a defensive player you like to switch it, as long as we give different looks, everything is working out right out” said LB Ahman Ross (pictured above). The Jacksonville native is not only looking forward to the regular season but towards taking the next step as a leader. “We take pride in leadership” said Ross after practice today. Last season, Ross excelled in the “star” position for FAU and played very well in the box, finishing the season with 39 tackles and 2 pass deflections. Although things are sill in flux, don't be surprised to see Ross featured at Linebacker this season.
- New Schedule Announced Yesterday,as part of a Conference USA Schedule modification, it was announced that FAU will have their home opener for the 2020 season on September 26th vs USF in Boca Raton. This will mark the first matchup between the two teams since 2013, FAU is 1-2 all time against the Bulls. In a previous stop, HC Willie Taggart led USF to a 24-25 record in 4 seasons. Former FAU coordinators Charlie Weiss Jr. and Glenn Spencer now are serving on the USF staff under first year HC Jeff Scott.
- Competition at WR One of the new strengths of the FAU roster is wideout. Immediate transfers include Aaron Young (Duke) and TJ Chase (Clemson), Yanez Rogers (Cincinnati), and BJ Alexander (Kentucky). It has not been announced if Florida State transfer WR D`Marcus Adams will be ruled immediately eligible. It will be interesting to see how the depth chart settles as the Owls only return two Wide Receivers who had catches last season are Willie Wright and Brandon Robinson.
- New Owls Each year when the roster for fall camp is released, there are usually some intriguing under the radar additions. The new look TE room features several newcomers including former Dwyner HS Alum, TE Austin Evans. Upon graduation from Dwyer, Evans spent played basketball for Webber International University. FAU Outfielder Jackson Wenstrom joined the football team as a TE. Joining the Owls as a walk on is former St. Thomas Aquinas offensive lineman, Nate Apleri. Nationally, Alperi is one of the biggest players in the 2020 recruiting class at 6-10".