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OwlBytes: 2024 FAU Spring Practice March 29th - Running Backs and Notes

The Owls finished their third week of Spring Practice on a bright Friday afternoon, with the running backs displaying an impressive showing. They worked on recovering loose balls, blocking defenders, and making the right turns while running with the ball in their hands.

Below is a quick glance at the makeup of the position for the Spring.

Key Returners: Zuberi Mobley (R-Jr. 5-10, 196), Xavier Terrell (R-Fr. 5-8, 175), Keyvon Walker (R-Soph. 5-9, 190), Gemari Sands (R-Fr. 6-0, 185), Joshua Harriott (R-Fr. 5-10, 180)

Key Losses: Larry McCammon III, Kobe Lewis, Robert Armes

Newcomers: CJ Campbell (Transfer/Florida State), George Johnson (Transfer/UMass), Kaden Shields-Dutton (Recruit/Edgewater), Tremonte Underwood Jr. (Walk-On/Columbus)

With day eight of spring practice now over, here is the seventh of our parliament Owl position previews, beginning with three names from the running backs, and some notes from today's media availability.

Running Downhill

  • Expected to Lead Zuberi Mobley: Mobley (pictured top) stands out as the leader of the group barring injury. Last year, he played a limited role as the third option behind Larry McCammon III and Kobe Lewis, appearing in the opening three games before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. In the season-opener against Monmouth last September, he garnered significant playing time, accumulating 49 yards on 15 carries. With his demonstrated speed and strength, following his development as a pivotal player in 2022, he aims to regain momentum after rehabilitation and contend for the starting position.

  • Keep An Eye On CJ Campbell: Campbell (pictured below) deserves the attention FAU bestowed upon him when he transferred from Florida State to join the Owls. Last year, he made 10 appearances on the field, contributing to both offense and special teams, tallying 117 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. His standout performance occurred against North Alabama on November 18th, where he rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown on just three carries, including a remarkable 70-yard run. Acquiring a skilled running back from the ACC, the Owls may witness Campbell vying for a prominent role in the rotation. Following Campbell is Xavier Terrell, who saw action towards the end of the 2023 season as a freshman. He concluded the season with 45 rushing yards on five carries in games against Tulane and Rice. Terrell demonstrates agility, enabling him to evade opponents and secure additional yardage for the team. Despite the addition of Campbell, Terrell might still garner some playing time at the position, offering his explosive capabilities.

  • Dark Horse Candidate Gemari Sands: Sands (pictured below) would be on the outside looking in. Throughout the 2023 season, he remained on the sidelines as a reserve, having transitioned from St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Similar to his teammate Terrell, they both played under Roger Harriett, a former FAU assistant coach renowned for developing running backs. Both players played pivotal roles in Aquinas' state championship victory over Homestead, with Sands averaging 14.3 yards per carry and 40.1 yards per game as a senior. Head coach Tom Herman and offensive coordinator Charlie Frye have acknowledged Sands' performances during the spring. Consequently, if he maintains his current level of play, he could secure a higher position on the depth chart among the other running backs in the group.

OwlBytes for March 29th

  • From Tallahassee to Paradise After three seasons at Florida State, CJ Campbell saw it was time to turn to a new chapter by moving to South Florida and playing for the Owls. Before he left, he got to experience an undefeated regular season and a conference championship with the Seminoles. He wants to bring the winning culture and mentality that squad had last year over to FAU in order to elevate the team throughout the spring. "It's more of what we have this week, what we have to play this week, get that taken care of, and the next week will worry about itself. Just be in the moment and enjoy that moment as well," Campbell said.

  • Bouncing Back Strong Safety Armani Eli-Adams had a difficult 2023 campaign, being sidelined for the season after sustaining injuries in the first two games. Having had a full offseason to rehab, Eli-Adams looks to pick up where he left off as a key veteran in the secondary. "I'm still trying to get back to how I was before. So it's a long process, but I'm still trying to get a feel back for it," he said.

Video Play

Defensive coordinator Roc Bellantoni, offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, safety Armani Eli-Adams, running back CJ Campbell, wide receiver Jayshon Platt, and quarterback Cam Fancher headline Video Play.

Taking a break for the remainder of the weekend to celebrate the Easter holiday, the team will be back on the field for Tuesday's session to begin the fourth week of Spring Practice.

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