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Can FAU get Lucky?

FAU is expected to sign at least four and as many as six junior college players on Wednesday. One of the surprises could be Dean College receiver Lucky Whitehead.

Originally published on 12/18/2012

by Chuck King

Florida Atlantic is expected to sign at least four players on Wednesday's mid-year JUCO signing day, and that number could reach as high as six. For that to happen they would have to get Lucky - as in Dean College wide receiver Lucky Whitehead.

East Mississippi Community College quarterback Quez Johnson, North Dakota College of Science defensive lineman Derek Butcher, City College of San Francisco offensive lineman Braden Lyons and Scottsdale Community College defensive back D. J. Geroux have all committed to play at FAU and are expected to sign on Wednesday, the first day junior college players are eligible to sign their National Letters of Intent.

FAU coaches will be waiting intently to see whether they will also received NLI's from Can Whitehead and Snow College offensive lineman Justin Manu.

Whitehead, a potential game breaker at wide receiver, has interest from several mid-level programs but is believed to have narrowed his choices to FAU and UConn. He caught 23 passes for 492 yards and three touchdowns while playing only seven games in 2012. He has said he doesn't intend to reveal his choice until a signing day ceremony on Wednesday.

Manu is the biggest long shot of the group. A 6-foot-5, 280-pound tackle, Manu committed to North Texas this season but the Owls did talk him into taking a recent official visit to Boca Raton.

East Mississippi Community College quarterback Quez Johnson, who committed in November,  is the most recognizable name currently committed to the Owls. He threw for 2,805 yards and 27 touchdowns this past season. The NJCAA Region 23 Offensive MVP also rushed for 540 yards and scored 12 more touchdowns.

Johnson is expected to compete with Melvin German and Stephen Curtis to be the Owls' starting quarterback in 2013.

Butcher and Lyons should help FAU coach Carl Pelini achieve his goal of making the offensive line and defensive lines bigger and tougher.

Butcher, a 6-foot-4 defensive tackle who originally hails from Minnesota, recorded three sacks among his 73 tackles.

A 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive tackle, Lyons chose FAU after originally committing to Texas-San Antonio.

Geroux, a 6-foot-2, 187-pound safety, recorded 69 tackles, including four sacks, and intercepted three passes during a sophomore season in which he earned second-team All Arizona Community College Athletic Conference honors.

All the JUCO players who sign with the Owls on Wednesday are expected to enroll at FAU for the spring semester and participate in spring practice.

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