The eighth day of fall camp is in the books for the Florida Atlantic football team, finishing their third session in pads on a warm Friday morning.
Here are some notes from today's media observation period and prior coaches' remarks.
OwlBytes for August 11th
Keeping Up The Tempo Head coach Tom Herman noted how when practice is nearing its end and the offensive line starts to slow down due to fatigue, quarterbacks Casey Thompson and Daniel Richardson have done their due diligence in getting the linemen up to the line of scrimmage after each play. "I thought both of them did a much better job of being a thermostat rather than a thermometer, setting the temperature rather than just reacting to it," head coach Tom Herman said. With the Owls needing a leader who can navigate their players through adversity during games, Thompson and Richardson are making solid cases to be deserving of the starting job.
In A Tight Spot Injuries impacted the tight ends group early on before fall camp began due to Alabama transfer Elijah Brown and Oklahoma transfer Jackson Sumlin getting hurt over the summer. Despite this, special teams and tight ends coach Chad Lunsford (pictured below) said that Miami transfer Kahlil Brantley (pictured bottom) and recruits Zeke Moore and Fin Jones have stepped up in their places. "Those three new guys added depth and also added opportunity to compete for the starting job," Lunsford said. As we mentioned back in the spring in our tight ends segment, the Owls saw the departures of Austin Evans and Adam Boselli following the conclusion of the 2022 campaign and Jacob Pasley over the summer. You can read that here.
Two Positions, One Player One player has been playing in two defensive groups: Darius McClendon. Listed as a cornerback on the roster, McClendon has been spending time with the safeties as of late. He joined the Owls earlier this year as he participated in the entirety of spring practice. Looking for reps this upcoming season, developing his versatility could be key for him to find the best position for his playstyle.
Star Watch: OLB Courtney McBride - McBride (pictured top) has been showing out among the players vying for the starting spot at outside linebacker. He has made major strides since suffering a season-ending injury in 2021, bouncing back with a solid 2022 campaign that saw him finish with 29 tackles (14 solo) including 5.5 for a loss of 14 yards and a sack for a loss of six yards. Entering his junior year, he looks to continue having the upward trajectory to his game since his return to form last season.
Final Word The defense had the spotlight for today's session. The outside linebackers focused on using their strength to overpower matchups during in-game situations, the defensive line worked on getting in position to break down the opponent's offensive line during in-game snaps, and the cornerbacks concentrated on making interceptions. If the development after fall camp leads to them becoming potent in the season, the Owls' defense could be a joy to watch when it comes to shutting down offenses.
No coaches or players were available for interviews so as a consolation, here's a compilation of some of the drills FAU had throughout Friday's session.
For the first time this fall camp, the team will host an hour-long open scrimmage at Howard Schnellenberger Field on Saturday morning during OwlFest.