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OwlBytes: 2024 FAU Spring Practice March 21st - Wide Receivers & Notes

Day five of Spring Practice came to a close earlier this afternoon with part of the session featuring wide receivers coach David Beaty having the receivers get accustomed to drills while also catching passes from the quarterbacks. They also practiced getting past the secondary to show their ability in maneuvering past opponents during in-game situations.

Below is a quick glance at the make up of the unit for the Spring.

Key Returners: BJ Alexander (Gr. 6-3, 198 - 10 receptions for 104 yards and one touchdown), Jayshon Platt (Jr. 6-1, 195 - Two catches for seven yards), Justin Mckithen (Sr. 5-10, 157), Omari Hayes (R-Soph. 5-9, 165), Jabari Smith (R-Fr. 5-10, 170), Donovan Giles (R-Soph. 6-4, 195), Jett Coolman (Sr. 6-0, 175)

Key Losses: Lajohntay Wester, Je'Quan Burton, Tony Johnson, Devin Price, AJ Jenkins

Newcomers: Caleb Coombs (Transfer/Marshall), Marlyn Johnson (Transfer/Buffalo), Joseph Young (Transfer/Coffeyville), George Johnson (Transfer/UMass), Milan Tucker (Transfer/App State), Dom Henry (Transfer/BYU), Leon Washington Jr. (Recruit/North Florida Christian), Nicolas Venezia (Walk-On/Jensen Beach), Cohen Graham-Johnson (Walk-On/Viera High School)

With day five of spring practice having concluded, here is the fifth of our parliament Owl position previews, beginning with three names at the wide receiver position, and some notes from today's media availability.

Executing The Routes

  • Expected to Lead Milan Tucker: Tucker (pictured top) comes to FAU with so much talent transferring out of App State as a star in the Sun Belt. Tucker was named a second-team All-American as a kick returner from the Football Writers Association of America, returning 52 kickoffs for 1,316 yards (seventh-most in Mountaineer history). Returning to his native state with one season of eligibility remaining, he will look to end his collegiate career by possibly elevating FAU's offense in spectacular fashion. Of the receivers returning from last season, BJ Alexander brings the most experience to the table. He played in all 12 games last season at FAU, making a career-high 10 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown as a backup option. With a starting rotation that is completely up in the air after last year, Alexander's role as a veteran at the position may likely garner him more reps for the upcoming season.

  • Keep An Eye On Marlyn Johnson: Towering over most of the receivers standing at 6-foot-4, Johnson (pictured below via Rick Henderson) provides a profile that can prove to be advantageous for specific in-game situations. Last season at Buffalo, Johnson made 40 catches for 495 yards and four touchdowns in what was a career season for the receiver. He will look to build off that year by competing for one of the starting spots. Another player to keep track of would be Jayshon Platt. He switched between the offense and special teams throughout the 2023 season, making two catches for seven yards and one kick return for 29 yards. With plenty of room opening up due to several key departures, Platt could use that to his advantage by shining throughout spring camp to possibly see his role expand even further.

  • Dark Horse Candidate Dom Henry: Some may call it an underdog narrative, but going from being a walk-on at BYU to potentially being in the fold for a key role in FAU's offense would be a way to go for Henry (pictured below). In two seasons at BYU, he played behind veteran wide receivers like Puka Nacua, Chase Roberts, Kody Epps, and Keanu Hill among others. His role as a reserve saw him make one appearance against Iowa State last season. With a position that has multiple starting spots up for grabs, this presents an opportunity for Henry to show his coaches the best of his abilities to make his case as a potential key player in the rotation.

OwlBytes for March 21st

  • Veteran Presence Despite seeing multiple players depart from the position, the wide receiver room kept a veteran voice in BJ Alexander. Throughout spring camp, Alexander has focused on getting the younger receivers up to speed with how the system is run for the offense. He said there's a lot of competitiveness at the position, understanding that they have to maintain that high-level effort on a daily basis to produce the best results for the team.

  • New Guy From Up North Making the big life decision of moving from Maine to Florida, defensive back Kahzir Brown was ready to take the next step of his career by playing for head coach Tom Herman, defensive coordinator Roc Bellantoni, and the Owls. Despite the significant culture change, Brown said his teammates and coaches helped him adapt to his surroundings quite well. He looks to play his part in helping the defense make big plays when the upcoming season arrives in August.

Video Play

Offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, Defensive coordinator Roc Bellantoni, defensive back Kahzir "Buggs" Brown, and wide receiver BJ Alexander headline Video Play.

The team will have their required day off on Friday before organizing a closed scrimmage on Saturday that will also have them host a number of high school recruits for Junior Day to conclude the second week of spring football.

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