OwlBytes: 2021 FAU Fall Camp August 16th - Safeties & Notes
Week two is officially underway, as the Owls look to sure up their position battles headed into their first scrimmage this Saturday. Day eight starts with a lot of progress being made all over the roster, as the team looks to get ready for week one against UF.
"I'm going into this season with an underdog mindset, more of a kill or be killed mindset," wide receiver Brandon Robinson said. "Just be ready to see something you've never seen before."
Today's position group, the safeties, look to have bought into that mindset as well. With sixth-year senior Jordan Helm leading the pack, Teja Young coming back after a breakout redshirt sophomore season, and players like Yanez Rodgers Jr. and Dwight Toombs II fighting for playing time and looking to play a role, they all look to contribute to getting the Owls back on track next season.
With day eight of camp in the books, here is the fourth rendition of the parliament Position Previews, detailing the safeties, and notes from today's media availability.
Eyes On The Sky
- Expected to Lead Jordan Helm: Jordan Helm (pictured) was elite at tracking defenders down last season, registering 51 total tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss. He is able to read the offense and stop the play before it turns into a big gain. He also got involved in breaking up passes last season, deflecting one pass, and registering an interception. Helm has been with FAU since 2016, so his unique long-tenured experience makes him both a leader on the field and off the field.
- Keep An Eye On Teja Young: The redshirt sophomore had a breakout campaign, leading the Owls in interceptions with two and adding a forced fumble. Young is great in pass coverage, being able to read the quarterback's eyes to get to the right spot and make the play. He was given C-USA Honorable Mention honors last season and will be a candidate to step up in an even bigger role next season.
- Dark Horse Candidate Yanez Rodgers Jr.: Rodgers originally transferred over to FAU from Cincinnati as a wide receiver, but made the move to the defensive side of the ball. In 2020, he mainly served a role on special teams but got his chance to shine in the Shula Bowl against FIU, where he recorded a pass breakup. Rodgers has the athleticism to cover the field and get to where he needs to be to make the play and he has the intelligence of understanding the offensive side of the ball to be able to follow where the receiver's route will end to break up the play.
OwlBytes for August 16th
- Old School Meets New School Former defensive coordinator Kurt Van Valkenburgh attended today's Fall Camp at the Tom Oxley Athletic Center. Van Valkenburgh served as an assistant head coach under Howard Schnellenberger, coaching the linebackers and special teams from 1998-2009 and serving as defensive coordinator in 2010. He was an integral part of FAU's two straight bowl victories in 2007 and 2008.
- John Mitchell Excels In Blocking Drills After missing all of last season with an injury, John Mitchell's progression to returning to the lineup has looked great so far. Today, they had Mitchell practicing blocking drills with the tight ends before returning to receiver drills and he was holding his own against the likes of Rahmod Smith. This is good news for FAU's run game, as Mitchell can use this blocking ability from the wide receiver position to help fend off cornerbacks to contribute to big gains.
- Michael Johnson Jr. Showing Accuracy During head-to-head quarterback drills today, Michael Johnson Jr. was throwing the most accurate passes while getting the ball out of his hands promptly. The quarterbacks were lined up next to each other while two different receivers ran routes, with Johnson Jr. routinely edging his opponent. We'll keep an eye on that storyline as camp goes on.
Wide receivers coach Joey Thomas, WR's Brandon Robinson and TJ Chase, and Head Coach Willie Taggart headline Video Play.
OwlBytes: 2021 FAU Fall Camp August 13th - Defensive Linemen & Notes
OwlBytes: 2021 FAU Fall Camp August 12th - Outside Linebackers & Notes
OwlBytes: 2021 FAU Fall Camp August 10th - Wide Receivers & Notes
OwlBytes: 2021 FAU Fall Camp August 9th - Offensive Line & Notes
2021 FAU Football Fall Camp Discussion
2021 Fall Camp Roster