FAU cornerback Treon Howard celebrates after returning an interception for a touchdown against UAB last season. (Owl Access File Photo)
2012 Position Preview: DBs
To get you ready for the 2012 season, we begin our position-by-position previews by taking a look at FAU's defensive backs.
Originally published on
BOCA RATON - Prior to the start of spring practice, first year FAU coach Carl Pelini placed an emphasis on finding the defensive backs to fill his base 4-3 defense.
Once spring practice began, it became obvious why the position was such a priority.
The Owls may use four defensive backs in their base defense, but they spent nearly all of the spring working out of the nickel – a package that will try to slow down the spread offenses prevalent throughout the Sun Belt Conference.
The fact that the Owls lost leader Marcus Bartels to graduation complicated matters.
New and veteran faces alike seemed to pick up the new defensive schemes quickly – though it likely helped they were defending an FAU passing offense crippled by injuries to wide receivers and still learning its way. And it will certainly pay dividends in the fall that junior college transfer Jeremy McKnight arrived in January and took part in spring drills.
Of course, that positive is somewhat muted by the fact that JUCO signee Tony Grimes, a former starter at Ole Miss, will not make it to FAU.
“One of the big things for us is just (having the players) believing in themselves that they can do it - that they do have to tools, that they can perform the things that we are asking them to do,” defensive backs coach Ross Watson said.
Owl Access Projected Depth Chart
Treon Howard 5-11, 175 R-Jr.
Returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown against UAB in 2012 – the Owls' lone victory of the season.
Demetrius Williamson 6-0, 195 R-So.
His 63 tackles is the most among returning DBs
Jeremy McKnight 5-10, 180 Jr.
It didn't take long for this big hitter to climb to the top of the depth chart.
Damian Parms 6-2, 185 So.
As a true freshman last season, Parms saw action in seven games
Brentley Harstad 6-1, 187 R-Sr.
Returned an interception for a TD against UAB in the Owls' 2011 season opener.
David Lozandier 6-0, 190 So.
Has size and speed – could be a big hitter from the secondary.
Christian Milstead 5-10, 170 R-Jr.
Walk-on recorded 10 tackles in 2012.
DJ Smith 5-11, 175 So.
Sophomore CB has excellent speed. Will likely also be a key player on special teams.
Keith Reaser 6-0, 185 R-Jr.
Tied Howard for team lead with two INTs last season. Would likely be second starting CB in base package.
S Marcus Bartels, CB Curtis Cross
Anthony Bolognese: Walk-on played quarterback on the scout team last season. Moved up to second team on the depth chart during the spring.
Winfred Strickland: Redshirt junior battled injuries last season.