It's a cliche which is used almost every year by football programs alike, but this time it is real for Florida Atlantic.
Coach Lane Kiffin shown in full effect on Wednesday what he brought to the table by being hired as the Owls welcomed in their 2017 signing class - their first under Kiffin and best ever.
"I am really proud of our guys, I am proud of our coaches for how hard they worked" said Kiffin.
In contrast to years past, FAU looked across the nation for talent while connections from new staff members show results at virtually every position aside from the kicking game where the Owls are solidified. In fact, geographically it is the most diverse among the programs 18 classes.
All in all, ten coaches traveled more than 79,000 miles recruiting this class since January 12th.
It is also ranked first in Conference USA by 247 Sports despite three members still remaining in a non-updated composite score status.
"We feel like at this point they can really help us and contribute to winning and building a championship program", Kiffin said.
They also tapped the JUCO ranks for a number of players who should be set to make immediate contributions in key areas of need. In all, nine newcomers out of the 24 member class will have previous collegiate experience at the JUCO level which is highlighted by the addition of former FSU quarterback De'Andre Johnson.
The secondary was a focal point for Kiffin, as shown by the six additions seen therein. One of those additions was Zyon Gilbert (pictured) who joined many others in fully holding out until Wednesday to announce his choice of institution for both higher education and football.
"I want to be apart of something special, and I believe FAU will do great things this year", Gilbert said of his decision. "The coaching staff is amazing and also the location."
The Owls will begin Spring Drills in March. Below is the current class listing, although Kiffin eluded to one or two more players possibly being added later.
2017 FAU Football Signing Class
BJ Etienne - OL, 6-3, 285 lbs, St Thomas Aquinas
Jordan Merrell - WR, 5-11, 180 lbs, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft Laud)
Isaac Readon - LB, 5-11, 196 lbs, Booker T. Washington
Chase Hooper - DT, 6-3, 265 lbs, Milton High (GA)
De'Andre Johnson- QB, 6-0, 175 lbs, Jacksonville, FL (FSU, EMiss CC)
Diashun Moss - DB, 5-11, 165 lbs, Cardinal Gibbons
Timothy Bonner - DE, 6-4, 220 lbs, Demopolis, AL (East Mississippi CC)
Ernest "Sensei" Bagner - DE, 6-5, 230 lbs, Riverside, CA (Riverside CC)
Rodney Washington - DB, 6-1, 185 lbs, El Cerrito, CA (Contra Coasta CC)
Robert Hawkins - OL, 6-4, 265 lbs, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ahman Ross - DB, 5-11 195 lbs, Jacksonville, FL
Quran Hafiz - DB, 6-1 180 lbs, Jacksonville, FL
Akileis Leroy - LB, 6-1 235 lbs, Leesburg, GA
Logan Peterson - TE, 6-3 230 lbs, Aledo, TX
Denzel Houston - ATH, 5-11 185 lbs, Daytona Beach, FL
Chase Lasater - ATH, 6-2 235 lbs, Jacksonville, FL
DeAndre McNeal - WR, 6-1 235 lbs, Mesquite, TX (Fullerton CC)
Willie Wright - WR, 5-8, 185 lbs, Jacksonville, FL
Tyrek Tisdale - RB, 6-1, 200 lbs, Orlando, FL
Joey Palmer - OL, 6-5, 305 lbs, Thornville, OH (Butler CC)
Zyon Gilbert - DB, 6-1, 175 lbs, Montgomery, AL
Carson Lydon - LB, 6-2, 245 lbs, Tarpon Springs, FL (LA Valley CC)
Jovon Burris - DB, 6-2, 185 lbs, Germantown, MD (Fullerton CC)
D'Anfernee McGriff - ATH, 6-1, 215 lbs, Tallahassee, FL (Iowa Western CC)
2017 FAU Football Signing Day Thread - FAU Owl's Nest