Center Mustafa Johnson, a junior college transfer, has emerged as a team leader, coach Carl Pelini said. (Owl Access Photo)
Leading the path
FAU coach Carl Pelini has identified a few of the leaders of his football team and is still looking for more.
Originally published on
BOCA RATON – Florida Atlantic coach Carl Pelini and his assistants have made it clear of what they expect from the players on this year's football team.
But for the players to really buy in, sometimes they need to hear it from someone else – another player.
Pelini said the leaders on the team are helping the players make the transition easier for the transition from playing for Howard Schnellenberger to playing for him.
Pelini said he has identified who the leaders on the team are – and there are many newcomers who have taken that essential role.
Among those pointed out who have taken a leadership role are senior linebacker David Hinds, senior linebacker-defensive end Martin Wright, but also junior college transfers Mustafa Johnson, a center, and wide receiver Daniel McKinney, both newcomers.
“There's obviously Martin Wright and David Hinds, who I expected to be leaders, but also McKinney,” Pelini said. “Mustafa has also done a great job and we're still looking for more.”
Johnson was at FAU in the spring, but McKinney arrived just before training camp and made an immediate impression on Pelini.
“He shows up every day with a special kind of work ethic and I think the guys around him just feed of it,” Pelini said.
Hinds is appreciative of being a leader on the team,.
“The leader role is tough, man,” Hinds said. “You have to come out here at practice with your gameface on every day, because all eyes are on you. Your teammates are going to practice how you practice. But it's a blessing to be considered a leader and having your teammates respond to you, because it's like a family out there.”
Peeking at Practice: Friday's workout
- Making Plays: Leading the first-team offense, QB Stephen Curtis connected with RB Damian Fortner for a long gain down the sideline.
- Stepping Up: CB Keith Reaser was in on two blocks of field goal attempts.
- Instant Message: “I am very hopeful that we are going win Duron's appeal.”
- Carl Pelini on Duron Carter taking snaps with the Owls' offense instead of the scout team
- Up Next: The Owls will have their final off-day on Saturday before the opener and will hold meetings on Sunday before returning to practice field on Monday.