Thursday morning will mark the start of a long awaited period for FAU coach Charlie Partridge. With just under three weeks remaining until National Signing Day, Thursday will be the day that Partridge and his staff will finally have the opportunity to lay the framework for the future of FAU football.
Because of a change to the NCAA’s recruiting calendar that took effect this year, Thursday will be the first time Partridge will have a chance to shake hands and meet face-to-face with recruits.
“Tomorrow is very unique,” Partridge said Wednesday. “With the way the NCAA changed the dead period, tomorrow is a one-day opportunity.”
Partridge has spent the past 31 days recruiting with his hands tied behind his back after taking the FAU job in December. He was limited to one phone call per week with a prospect, and couldn’t invite athletes on campus. But on Thursday, he and his staff will have full reins on the landscape when the recruiting dead period ends, and there is already a plan in place.
Partridge said Wednesday that eight assistant coaches will scatter across the state on Thursday, and a ninth will join them if paperwork is filed in time.
FAU got good news on Wednesday when three-star defensive back Marquese Dudley-Gordon (pictured) committed to the Owls over a long list of offers, but he isn't the only high-profile target Partridge is after. The coach explained that there is a number of prospects in the area that he plans to visit with.
“I’ll be making way through South Florida,” Partridge said. “I’ll make some stops on some high priority kids for us and go from there.”
The Owls are expecting to host at least 15 recruits this weekend for official visits, and a majority of those visitors will address some needs on the roster. But according to Partridge, the emphasis Thursday won’t be on just recruiting individual positions, rather it will be to show face and develop relationships.
“There is not one position that we’re focused on, we’re recruiting across the board. We’re going to work the high schools first, and we’re going to work the high school kids here in Florida first,” Partridge said.
While the priority for the next few weeks will be on the 2014ers, Partridge said that his staff have also started looking towards the next recruiting cycle.
“We already have a preliminary board set up for the Class of 2015 on paper, but at the end of the day recruiting is all about building relationships and trust, and that’s what I want to make sure we take a step towards tomorrow.”
The Owls coaching staff will have a handful more opportunities to meet with recruits before they have to sign their letters of intent, but Thursday is the first mile of the race.
“It’s a unique day,” Partridge said. “We need to be efficient when we blanket the state of Florida.”
National Signing Day is February, 5th. The Owls updating list of verbal commitments can be found here.