Florida Atlantic football concluded their first-ever media days as a member of the American Athletic Conference this past Monday and Tuesday in Arlington, Texas.
Head coach Tom Herman and players such as Evan Anderson, Larry McCammon III, Chaz Neal, and Armani Eli-Adams proudly represented the program there to show the potential and talent they will have for the upcoming season.
With the AAC Media Days now over, we endeavored to compile the most memorable moments from the event into a cohesive collection.
Given the abundance of significant instances, we opted to narrow down the selections to a concise Top 5.
Presented below is our compilation, offering a substantial glimpse into the most noteworthy quotes shared by the Owls during their media interactions in Arlington.
We hope you enjoy reading and reflecting on them as much as we enjoyed listing them all together.
And now, without any more delay, here they are.
Top 5 Moments from the 2023 AAC Media Days
5. "He changed a lot of mindsets," - DL Evan Anderson
The defensive lineman praised Tom Herman for bringing a lot of consistency to the program upon his hiring to become the program's head coach. "Everything he does is serious like everytime we come there, he's not a different person. Everybody understands they got the same mission and believe in the same goals," he said. Larry McCammon III also chimed in with his support for Herman, saying he brought the "competitive edge" back into the team.
4. "These past eight months have been the most fun I've had coaching in a long time," - HC Tom Herman
A long time it was indeed for Herman, who took a two-year hiatus from the college football scene before returning to coach FAU. To his benefit, it did not take long for him to have fun coming back to it. "It's absolutely great to be back coaching college football and back in the American Athletic Conference. I'd like to thank Brian White and his trust in hiring me and his leadership since we've been here," he said.
"Players and coaches win games; administrations win championships, and we have an absolute championship administration."
3. "Anybody can do what I did with the offensive line we got," - RB Larry McCammon III
McCammon III said this with complete confidence regarding the Owls' talent at running back as well as the offensive line. He had an astounding performance as the team's first option last season, putting up 1,004 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in the process. With the abundant amount of depth the team has at the position, McCammon III is supportive of everyone's chances to shine in the rotation. "I still have things to improve on this season…but as far as our room goes, anybody can go out there and do it," he said.
2. "We've got rugged dudes on our team…rugged," - HC Tom Herman
Herman gave credit to his Owls for developing a tough mindset under his direction, which reminded him of his coaching days at the University of Houston. "I've been so impressed with how hard our players go at Florida Atlantic. They just go with how tough they are, both mentally and physically," he said.
"The way they respond so enthusiastically and willingly to our style of coaching, to being coached hard, to being demanded things of, to having very high expectations and standards, they want to win."
Strength and conditioning coach Joey Guarascio, who Herman praised during his opening remarks, shared similar sentiments in the fact that staff often has to explain to incoming transfers and freshmen that they work on a different level compared to many teams.
"The amount of smiles and playful banter that happens after the lift or run that the veterans give the new guys is hilarious," Guarascio said. "We have a bunch of chips on shoulder guys. They are 'us versus the world' guys that need to be told to slow down because they are wide open everyday - all day everyday."
1. "We had a 5-7 locker room, so we locked it," - HC Tom Herman
Herman recalled his start as FAU's coach understanding the challenges that came from it due to the fact that the Owls were coming off of back-to-back 5-7 seasons. "You got to act like a champion before you become a champion," Herman said.
He first started by locking the locker room from the players for a couple of days until they understood his message and the standard he wants to achieve with them. Evan Anderson admitted the team wasn't holding themselves to a standard with how they left things around in the locker room.
"When you go into practice and you're walking through a hallway with sweat and stuff, it don't take that long for you to realize like 'yeah, we need to get back into the locker room,' so everybody just tightened up and we did everything he said to do," he said.