FAU coach Charlie Partridge has added another transfer. Navy-signee Winston Chastang has enrolled at FAU as a walk-on, after spending one year at the Naval Prep Academy in Rhode Island. The defensive end confirmed the move on Wednesday and said he has spent the past week working out with the team.
Chastang will add instant depth to a defensive line unit that was noticeably thin during spring camp. The Owls practiced with just five healthy scholarship linemen before adding Rutgers transfer Nick Internicola in the offseason.
Internicola is petitioning the NCAA for a hardship waiver to be cleared to play this season, but Chastang said he is eligible to play right away. The 6-foot-3, 227-pound lineman has four years of eligibility remaining and comes in as a freshman.
Chastang signed with the Midshipmen coming out of West Orange High School in Orlando. But the academy doesn't allow for players to redshirt, so he - like many Navy signees - spent a season at the prep school.
Chastang said a chance to play closer to home was something he couldn't pass up.
"I was starting to struggle with balancing the military life with the tough academics and football so I made the choice to come here," Chastang said. "Being closer to home also played a big role."
Chastang (who took an official visit to FAU during the recruiting process) joins former high school teammate Nate Ozemdier at FAU. Ozemdier signed with Navy out of high school, but transferred to FAU last fall. He enters the season as a second-string linebacker.
The Navel Prep Academy-to-FBS school move is a rare one, but it's been done before. Quarterback Jordan Moore elected to enroll at Texas State after a year at the Navy's prep school, and went on to challenge for a starting job. Two-way lineman Nate Hoff was recruited by Indiana and signed to their 2013 recruiting class.
Chastang said his decision had to do with academics and football.
"I just want to focus more on getting my degree and then afterwords maybe still joining the military," Chastang said.
FAU opens the season August 30th at Nebraska.