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Nick Paris: The General

Never short for words, a comedic Nick Paris describes himself "like candy mixed with steel", empowered with the gift to make people laugh, some might get the impression that he is a bit of aloof off the field. But on the gridiron, he is all business.


Armed with a big heart, Paris' unselfish nature tends to lead him to rally behind the underdogs. It's no wonder why he landed at a start-up program like Florida Atlantic.  His character leans to the type of players Schnellenberger recruited when he started building this program.


As a freshman in high school, Nick wasn't sure he was cut out to play football. His unwillingness to give up helped him find a calling that now consumes every fiber of his physical being.  Owl fans are happy he found his passion for a game he seems to have mastered.


Heading into the season opener against Texas,  the Owls needed to be at full strength to remotely have a chance to compete with the Longhorns. And when the injury bug hit, the biggest loss might have been to offensive linemen Nick Paris.  Having battled through a couple of injuries, Paris never allowed the set backs bring him down, and instead used it as motivation to comeback stronger.


The loss of Paris not only is measured in terms of experience loss, but the intangibles he brings to the line.  Like Paris would say, he influences the "fat guys."  He is a battle tested general down in the trenches and brings an element of calmness to a chaotic battlefield. 


 Schnellenberger re-emphases what having a player in the line up like Nick Paris is like: "Nick has been a starter for three years. When you lose a player like Nick you are losing one-fifth of your experience and your technique, your ability to play together. So it is natural that he is somewhat more than 20 percent of the offensive line," Schnellenberger said.


So when the general found his way back into the lineup in time for conference play, it also brought some stability to an offense that never seemed to find any rhythm.  And every week since Paris return, there has been a renewed "swagger" to the Owls offense.  The running game seems to have flourished with Nick's return. The benefit have been resounding as the offense looks to be returning to their 2007 form.


Asking Schnellenberger if there is any correlation on how the offense seemed to have found its groove again with the return of Nick Paris, he said, "I absolutely do. Nick is an integral part of this football team and has been his entire career here, not only as a football player but as a signal caller for the line and in the entertainment division of the line."


Can one person have so much impact and be instrumental in the turnaround for an offense trying to find any kind of rhythm? Maybe not, but it is hard to deny what the experience and leadership of a Nick Paris-type player brings to this team - his fun nature seemed to have made a big difference.  This is a different team, one with a bit more bravado.

Edited by: Rick Smith


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