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Posts from July 2010

Sunday's FAU Daily Briefing: Another defection from the Class of 2009

On Saturday we posted our Position Primer for defensive ends. Even though it’s the most thorough pre-camp breakdown of the position that can be found anywhere, knowledgeable Owl fans may have noticed there was one name missing.

It wasn’t an oversight. FAU defensive ends coach Johnny Frost confirmed that Jarred Williams has left the program. A 6-foot-3, 235-pounder who recorded 75 tackles as a senior at Fort Walton Beach High School, Williams was thought to have an outside chance of playing as a true freshman.

He never really progressed past the scout team, though and never was practicing with the first team no matter what you may have seen on other sites.

Williams (left) becomes the fifth player from the recruiting class of 2009 to leave Boca Raton, joining Tyrie Allen, Terrell Bradley, Jamal Davis and James Oboh. Another member of that class, Rock Angrande, never quite made it to South Florida.

Two other players from 2009, Cory Henry and Karl James, became members of the 2010 class.

On a side note, there is good news concerning wide receivers Paul Moore and Jerrard Hunter on Saturday. The two late additions to the 2010 recruiting class said they have cleared their academic hurdles and expect to be in Boca Raton later this week when the Owls open camp.

> Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU
As mentioned above, we continued our pre-season position primer by dissecting the defensive ends. Check back later today for our breakdown of the linebackers.

Other linkage...

Not much written about FAU on Saturday, but former Owl Willie Rose ended up on the Titans PUP list.

Saturday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Single-game tickets go on sale Sunday

Haven’t seen this anywhere else, so I thought I would pass it along because it might be of interest to fans who want to attend games this season.

FAU single game tickets will go on sale Sunday. According to FAU’s web site, tickets can be ordered online at,, at the FAU Athletics Ticket Office, or by calling 1-866-FAU-OWLS or 561-297-6719.

Here’s a tip, if you promise not to share it others…The TicketMaster site lists the ducats being released at 11:59 p.m. tonight, so if you log on a minute early you can get the best seats.

It looks like single-game sideline tickets are $25 each with seats the “crunch zone” going for $12 with some other specials.

Also FAU has set the kickoff times for its home games this season.

  • Sept. 25 vs. North Texas 4 p.m.
  • Oct. 30 vs. FIU 4 p.m.
  • Nov. 13 ULL 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 4 Troy 2 p.m.

Also, for all those haters out there who didn’t believe me when I told you in January the Shula Bowl would be at Lockhart Stadium, guess where the official schedule lists that game? If some of y’all still don’t believe me, drive down to Miami Gardens the day of the game and let me know how it goes.

As for me, I'lll be attending a nice tailgate party at Lockhart that day with the readers.

> Owl Links: Your guide to what’s being written about FAU

In addition to our regular series, Former Owl Friday, we began a pre-season position-by-position look at the football team as the Owls get ready for training camp with a look at the defensive tackles.

Friday's Daily Briefing: Baseball coaches will teach your kids

We’ve written quite a few blogs about the various football camps held this summer and even one about a basketball camp, but the campiest camp campers this summer might have been the baseball coaches.

Nearly every week this summer they’ve brought in youngsters from around the area to improve their baseball skills. This week is a bit different, though. This is the high school week, where the baseball coaches get a chance to analyze players who could soon become Owls – though most of the players in this week’s camp are likely a couple years away.

FAU coaches will be back working with the younger kids over the next two weeks – and they will have help from same names that are familiar to Owl fans. L.J. Biernbaum, Mike McKenna and Michael Obradovich, all of whom played professionally after leaving FAU, have joined 2009 grad David Wilson as instructors throughout the summer.

Current FAU players Eddie Cassidy and Sean Bukovich are also helping out. That’s Cassidy moving a screen into place on Thursday.

Those interested in having their 5-to-13-year-olds spend a week learning from accomplished baseball players and Sun Belt champion coaches can contact Brad Frick at the baseball office. The week-long camps run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and cost $185 for players who are members of the Boca Raton Youth Leagues, $225 for those who aren’t.

> Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU
Thursday’s bring about Owl Talk at In this week’s edition Brian Rowitz talked with the beat writers who cover Troy, MTSU and ULL, completing Rowitz’s off-season look at Sun Belt teams.

For those who only check our Owl Things Considered blog in the morning (shame on you), here’s a link to a blog from Thursday detailing linebacker Tony Walding’s return to the FAU football team.

Other linkage...

Don’t forget to check frequently on Friday. We’ll begin our in-depth position-by-position breakdown of the football team today. Look for a different position primer every day leading up to fall camp.

And it is Friday, which means our Former Owl Friday segment tracking FAU players in the pros will also be posted. Is there a better way to start a weekend?

Like Moore, linebacker Walding returns to FAU

At one point during the spring FAU looked like it might run out of linebackers. With two players having left the spring before the start of workouts and a few others hurt, walk-on Cory Davis and suddenly appeared on the two deep.

Now the FAU corps runneth over.

Last week we told you that Toney Moore had decided to rejoin the team. It turns out that Tony Walding will be back with the Owls when camp opens, too.

Both of the prodigal linebackers had decided to transfer during the spring, but changed their minds during the summer.

Walding came to FAU as a freshman in the spring of 2008 and after a red-shirt year had worked his way onto the two-deep at one point as a red-shirt freshman in 2009’s pre-season practices.

After not playing in any games last season, Walding chose to transfer before spring practice.

“He has tools,” FAU defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Kurt Van Valkenburgh said. “He has a lot of learning to do.”

Neither Walding nor Moore will begin the fall on the two-deep roster, but Van Valkenburgh said he wouldn’t be shocked if either or both found their way into that position at some point this year.

And while neither Moore nor Walding has played a down of college football, five of the six players ahead of them have. (Randell Johnson is the only one who hasn’t, and he could be the most athletic of them all.)

Right now, none of the top six have anything more than nagging injuries, which means the Owls could potentially have eight linebackers vying for serious playing time when camp opens on August 7.

Suddenly, depth at linebacker doesn’t appear to be a concern.

Thursday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Report from last 7-on-7 workout

Florida Atlantic held its last off-season 7-on-7 workout on Wednesday and the next stop is pre-season training camp and the first practice on Aug. 7.

Will the Owls’ be ready? I don’t know, but the off-season workouts should have helped. There were plenty of players, including true freshman, who were participating to get ready for the season.
The players who had the most to gain were freshman quarterbacks Nick Bracewell and Stephen Curtis. With their work during the last few weeks, when they take snaps next week, it won’t   be the first time they’ve worked with their receivers.
Senior quarterback Jeff Van Camp remembered when he arrived to campus and didn’t have the benefit of going through off-season workouts.
“They are getting great experience,” said Van Camp, the de facto coach of the 7-on-7s. “When I was a freshman I was just thrown into the fire.”
No position battles were contested and no starting jobs were won in the off-season workouts, but it certainly gives a sense of who will have an early advantage in training camp.
Here’s a few observations from the last day of 7-on-7s.
  • I’d say it was fitting that the session ended with an interception of Van Camp by defensive back Marcus Bartels. Bartels will be out to prove that last year wasn't a fluke. He got a foot in the door and then knocked it down to become the Sun Belt’s second leading tackler with 111.
  • Quarterback David Kooi didn’t throw the last few workouts after he tweaked his shoulder AC joint.  “I just warmed up to see how it felt and it’s feeling good,” Kooi said Wednesday. “ I just want to rest it so that it’s a full 100 percent.” Kooi said he will be ready for camp.
  • Speaking of defensive backs, could Brentley Harstad be on the brink of something big? Remember, he led the Owls in interceptions last season (OK, it was just two picks) but showed his knack for the ball again with an interception and I predict will make a move during training camp.
> Owl Links: Your guide to what’s being written about the Owls
See exclusive video from Wednesday’s workout on 3-2-See as we show you the top three plays of the day.
You might also want to check out our blog, Owl Things Considered, as we had items on the Owls naming Joe Corozza the new special teams coach as well as the tentative basketball schedule.
Men's basketball schedule to feature Mississippi St, Florida, USF and DePaul

FAU’s basketball schedule is likely to be completed by the end of the week, but the opponents are locked in. Below is a quick look at who Ray Taylor and company will face this year.

The Owls will play a couple of SEC teams, Florida and Mississippi State, on the road. FAU also plays two Big East teams (DePaul and South Florida), with a home game against USF on Dec. 4 being the most impressive date at The Burrow.

Interestingly, the Owls have a couple of lightweights – Warner and Florida Memorial – in the middle of their schedule, although no one who saw Warner take the Owls to triple overtime at The Burrow last year will look past this game.

If you are planning to see FAU play in December, you’re probably going to have to travel. The USF game and a Dec. 30 game vs. Manhattan sandwich five road games during the Christmas season.

FAU might also have a hard time figuring out whether it’s coming or going in the final month of the season. Now that the Sun Belt has gotten rid of travel partners, the Owls won’t play back-to-back home games in February.

For those wondering why the times of so many home games are TBA, a source said FAU coach Mike Jarvis is interested in playing Saturday afternoon games, but has yet to receive Athletic Director Craig Angelos’ blessing.

4  vs. Northwood     7 p.m. #
8  vs. Lynn        7 p.m. #
12-14    MTE Classic
Featuring Portland, Milw-Wisc, UC Davis        
17 vs. Warner         TBA
20 vs. American    TBA
23 @ Florida        TBA
27 @ George Mason    TBA
30 @ Mississippi St.    TBA

4  vs. South Florida    8 p.m.
11 @ Hofstra        4 p.m.
13 @ Siena        TBA
16 @ Troy        7 p.m.*
19 @ ULM        TBA*
22 @ DePaul        TBA
30 vs. Manhattan    7 p.m.

3  vs. Fl. Memorial    7 p.m.
6  vs. South Alabama    7 p.m.*
8  vs. Arkansas St.    7 p.m.*
13 @ MTSU        TBA*
15 @ WKU        TBA*
22 vs. UALR        7 p.m.*
27 vs. MTSU        7 p.m.*
29 vs. WKU        7 p.m.*

3  @ North Texas    7 p.m.*
5  vs. FIU        TBA*
10 @ Denver        TBA*
12 vs. ULL        7 p.m.*
19 @ FIU        TBA*
24 vs. Troy        7 p.m.*
27 @ South Alabama    4 p.m.

5-8 Sun Belt Tournament
@ Hot Springs, Ark.

* denotes Sun Belt Conference game
# denotes exhibition game

Corozza to take over as special teams coach

FAU tight ends coach Joe Corozza is about to get a little busier. Corozza will take over as FAU’s special teams coach beginning this fall.

Kurt Van Valkenburgh split time last season as the Owls’ assistant head coach, linebackers coach and special teams coach. After being promoted to defensive coordinator in the spring, Van Valkenburgh said he would look for someone to take over special teams duties.

“It was just impossible to handle all of those things,” Van Valkenburgh said. “I had to move out of that area. Joe did a great job of helping out last year with it. With his coaching position and things right now he’ll be able to dedicate the amount of time that you need to get that done.”

Corozza is taking over a unit that ranked 26th in the nation in punt return defense (6.1 yards per punt), 88th in net punt yardage (37.87), 109th in punt return average (4.6), 110th in kickoff return average (18.87) and 72nd in kickoff return defense (22.08).

He's been with FAU since 2001, when he served as an intern, Corozza became the tight ends coach in 2006.

Wednesday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Where should Owls train if they take to the road?

It appears the University of South Florida Bulls will hit the road for a portion of their training camp, apparently heading for the former Dodgertown in Vero Beach.

Apparently new coach Skip Holtz believes the team can get more accomplished without the distractions of being on campus.
Could FAU benefit from a similar strategy by taking their training camp on the road, and if so, where would they go?
Here’s a couple of possible locations where the Owls could hold their training camp to take a break from Boca,
Louisville, Ky.: Howard Schnellenberger’s name is already on the football complex there, so they could make use of the facilities. Players would also get to work out in the shadow of Papa John’s Stadium – the first of two stadiums Schnellenberger built.
Coral Gables: Schnellenberger and his current team head back to the program he put on the path to greatness by winning the 1983 National Championship. He could also take some renderings of FAU’s on-campus stadium to show them what one looks like.
Miami: Considering the Owls’ domination over FIU in the Shula Bowl, they own Miami-Dade County anyway, so the rent would be cheap.
Pensacola: It would be a shot in the arm to the region when the Owls head to an area they have claimed as an extension of the FAU territory by landing so many players in the Panhandle region. Coach Joe Corozza, who recruits the area that has produced Jeff Van Camp, Alfred Morris and several players from the last two classes, could drive the bus since he knows all the backroads up there.
> Owl Links: Your guide to what’s being written about FAU had a recruiting update with Hialeah tight end Carlos Carvajal.
Tuesday’s FAU Daily Briefing: 7-on-7 workouts winding down

The pre pre-season is nearly in the books as the Owls took the practice field for 7-on-7 workouts on Monday.

The players are far from mid-season form, but they are definitely looking better than they were a few weeks ago.
There are plenty of plays being made on defense, which is probably what you would want to see the most from these workouts.
Here are a few observations from Monday…
  • It doesn’t look like senior receiver Grant Glover is ready to just allow himself to fall behind on the depth chart. I really like what I saw from Glover in the spring and if he can keep up the same rate of improvement he had in the spring when he got extra reps when Avery Holley and Amos Wood, who left the team, weren’t practicing. he could be included in the rotation.
  • Freshman quarterbacks Nick Bracewell and Stephen Curtis appear to be settling in, but were pretty limited to throwing just short passes on Monday. It seems building up their confidence is the first order of business as they get ready for training camp.
  • Some of the defensive lineman were working out to the side on Monday. Standing out there was Cory Henry, who has really put on the muscle. Let’s just say Henry doesn’t look like a true freshman – and probably won’t play like one either in pre-season practices.
> Owl Links: Your guide to what’s being written about FAU
It was a busy day keeping the site updated on Monday with a feature on tight end Rob Housler, whose son was born two-months premature this spring and then, of course, we were there for the 7-on-7 workouts and brought the video highlights to you with the latest installment of 3-2-See.
Monday's FAU Daily Briefing: Saunders closes the deal

So it only took FAU President Mary Jane Saunders a few months to get an on-campus stadium approved by the university’s board of trustees.

Well, yes and no.
Saunders did get the deal approved by the board and her enthusiasm for the project was a large factor in trustees voting in favor of the complicated financing plan last week,
However much of the credit for getting the project to this point must go to former FAU President Frank Brogan, who led the effort for years.
Coincidently, Brogan now heads the Board of Governors - which will cast the final vote for approval of FAU’s stadium plan in September.
But it was Saunders, who closed the deal with the FAU’s Trustees and led one to compare her to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
No word on whether “Enter Sandman” will be played at the next BOT meeting.
Sunday's FAU Daily Briefing: How to honor former Owls

The presentation of the proposed football stadium given to the FAU Board of Trustees on Wednesday was the most complete, detailed description of what the new digs will look like.

Because it doesn’t figure too much in the construction plan, one important detail wasn’t addressed.
What will be done to mark the significance of all the players (from 2001 to present day) who did so much for the FAU football program to get to this point.
Those players didn’t get to play in the new stadium, but they deserve to make sure they have a place in it.
It could be a hall, a suite, a plaque, monument or mural, but I know honoring the players who laid the ground work is important to Howard Schnellenberger.
It’s a safe guess that the wheels are already turning in his mind as he ponders a way to get those players proper recognition.
Any ideas out there on how to honor the former new players in the new stadium?  
Saturday's Daily Briefing: Joyce gets to double up

Summer Saturdays always have me thinking about baseball, and the great baseball weekends always seemed to involve doubleheaders.

I’m in a doubleheader kind of mood today, so I figured this blog might as well be, too. Those who’ve made this blog a daily part of their morning reading know that we’ve been asking FAU coaches a couple simple questions about which FAU athletes could cross over sports.

If we’re looking for doubleheaders, that must mean it’s Joan Joyce’s turn. Joyce, of course, coaches both softball and golf for the Owls. She’s also a frequent spectator at other FAU sporting events, so she’s had plenty of time to scout FAU athletes.

Here are her answers for both teams. Enjoy the weekend.

1. Which athlete from another FAU sports team would you most like to have on your team and why?

JOYCE: I would take Toyria Mattear (photo, courtesy from the track team. She has all the speed we would need and we could teach her to slide.
2. Which player on your team do you think would have success on a different FAU sports team and why?

JOYCE: I would say Kerri Croney. Kerri works hard on her game and I believe she would work just as hard on her golf game.
1. Which athlete from another FAU sports team would you most like to have on your team and why?

JOYCE: Since I suggested Kerri Croney from softball, I have to take my suggestion. Work ethic alone would make her successful.
2. Which player on your team do you think would have success on a different FAU sports team and why?
JOYCE: Jennifer Norton would be the best because she has previous experience playing softball.

Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU
Friday's installment of Former Owl Friday on relayed how Robbie Widlansky’s season came to an abrupt end after fouling a ball off his ankle.

Friday's FAU Daily Briefing: Pitcher Alvarez to be televised at Fenway All-Star game.

Fenway Park is one of the most historic sports venues in America. Next week it will have a bit of an FAU feel to it.

Florida Atlantic pitcher R.J. Alvarez has been chosen to the Cape Cod Summer League All-Star game, which will be played at Fenway on Wenesday and televised on CBS College Sports.

Alvarez (right) is 2-2 in 11 relief appearances totaling, 18 innings this summer. Impressively, he’s allowed only two earned runs in the summer season – both of them coming Wednesday. Troy pitcher Tayler Ray was the only other Sun Belt player selected to the game.

Widely considered the top collegiate baseball summer destination, the Cape Cod League is growing accustomed to strong FAU performances. Last year, Mike Gipson put together a strong summer on the Cape. Gipson, of course, went on to be the ace of the Owls’ staff in 2010 before getting drafted by the New York Yankees (More on him later today in our Former Owl Friday segment)

Alvarez, who went 3-1 with a 5.10 ERA this past season as a freshman and finished the year as the Sunday starter, is the only Owl in the Cape Cod League. Mike Albaladejo was supposed to be with Alvarez up there, but the catcher ended up playing in the Florida Collegiate Summer League instead.

Wondering how some of the other Owls are doing this summer? Andy Mee continues to be multi-functional. He’s hitting .359 with 26 RBIs and 25 runs scored in 33 games for the Mat-Su Miners. On the mound he’s 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA.

Dan Scheffler is among the Valley League leaders with six homers, but he’s hitting only .190. His teammate, both with the Winchester Royals and FAU, has four homers while hitting .299.

> Owl Links: Your guide to what is being written about FAU
FAU fans were still abuzz about the passing of the stadium financing plan. On we analyzed how the stadium's main revenue streams. Brian Rowitz also presented the latest installment of Owl Talk.

Thursday's FAU Daily Briefing: Linebacker Toney Moore returns to team

The Board of Trustees’ approval of the stadium financing plan was the big news from FAU football, yesterday. However, it wasn’t the only news.

This little nugget shouldn’t be overlooked: Linebacker Toney Moore is once again a member of FAU’s football team.

Moore skipped spring workouts after deciding to transfer from FAU. He said on Wednesday that he was dealing with “personal issues” at the time and admitted he received some bad advice.

A few days ago Moore changed his mind and asked Howard Schnellenberger if he could rejoin the team.

“He realized he made a mistake and decided he wanted to be a part of things so we are going to give him an opportunity,” FAU defensive coordinator/linebacker coach Kurt Van Valkenburgh said.

Moore, shown here last fall, attended Wednesday’s voluntary workout but couldn’t participate until after passing his physical.

Considered one of the top players in the Owls’ 2009 recruiting class, Moore chose FAU over Syracuse on signing day. Other BCS schools had been interested in the King’s Academy grad but backed off after he suffered a serious knee injury.

After undergoing surgery prior to graduating high school, Moore needed a second surgery during his freshman year to clean up lingering issues.

Moore’s return should make life Moore interesting for the equipment staff.

FAU signed Tallahassee-Lincoln running back Tony Moore – no “e” in the first name – as part of its 2010 recruiting class.

> Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU.
As alluded to above, Tuesday was one of the most important days in the history of FAU athletics. was all over the story. Thank you to all who sent notes or thanked us in person for our Twitter updates. Marcus was a busy man, but I think reading his Twitter updates was probably far better than actually attending the meeting. He also wrote this story about the Board’s approval.

Later last night Marcus filed this blog after a sit down with Howard Schnellenberger. It includes coach’s full statement and is worth a read.

We also spend some time at Wednesday’s voluntary workouts, where the 3-2-See video found some outstanding defensive plays. Does the stadium news combined with seeing the guys throwing the ball around have anyone else ready for some football?

Other linkage:
Basically, every newspaper around covered the Trustees meeting. Here are the stories from the Miami Herald, Palm Beach Post, South Florida Business Journal and Sun-Sentinel.

Schnellenberger first to admit he didn’t do it by himself

Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger pulled off perhaps one of his biggest victories in his career on Wednesday.

He wasn’t celebrating, just yet. He knows there is still a big hurdle to clear in the Board of Governors meeting on Sept. 16, but to him, Wednesday might have been just as rewarding as when the Governors give that final blessing.
No matter what happens with the Governors, having FAU’s trustees approve the funding of the stadium, means his crusade of bringing football to this campus that was mired in mediocrity before he arrived in 1998 is a success.
The trustees get it. And so does the FAU administration.
Football isn’t just a contest for a few hours on Saturday. It can define a campus and becomes a culture all its own.
FAU accomplished much in the last few seasons playing at Lockhart Stadium, but when the Owls put toe to leather in the first game at this new 30,000 stadium in 20011, FAU will never be the same. Nor will Boca Raton or Palm Beach County.
The vote by the trustees was a validation of what Schnellenberger has been saying since the first day he arrived on campus. They believe, and once FAU moves to its rightful home, they’ll have plenty of company once the Innovation Village is complete with new dorms right next to a new stadium. Overnight, it will be a new campus
A few hours after his vision of an on-campus stadium was finally approved by the FAU Board of Trustees, I sat in his office talking to Schnellenberger about the peaks and valleys this project has been on since the early days of the program. Schnellenberger wanted none of that. He just wanted to give credit, where credit was due – and, no, he wasn’t taking about himself.
He had a saying that he made popular when he was at Louisville.
It takes everyone to be No. 1.
He said it applied here as well and said he put some serious thought into his statement the school released after the vote.
I’ve known Schnellenberger since his first year at FAU. I could tell his lengthy statement wasn’t just a few sentences thrown together by a PR flak. This was the speech he so wanted to give after the vote to the trustees in person, but couldn’t make it to the meeting due to a personal matter.
I would be remiss if I didn't share the whole statement here…
 “The unanimous affirmative vote by the Board of Trustees on the funding for the proposed on-campus stadium on this day, July 21st 2010, will go down as one of the most important milestones in the history of Florida Atlantic University.
This achievement belongs to many individuals, starting with the first recruits and coaches who had the courage and faith to commit their lives in the critical years of our development. That team carried us through the developing years and qualified us to be invited to compete in our first Division I-AA playoffs. The teams that followed not only took us to a Sun Belt Conference championship but also to back-to-back bowl wins.
It could have happened without the initial dream of former President Anthony Catanese, former president Frank Brogan and the new energy and vision of President Mary Jane Saunders and their staff in keeping the faith and belief that the stadium would become the catalyst for the university’s new direction.
As important as anyone else, are the thousands of donors who have helped keep the program alive and given us the financial tools to succeed. A special thanks to the faculty and staff, but especially the students who have given support through their enthusiastic spirit and financial generosity.
Now is the time for all loyal sons and daughters of FAU to join together with a new vigor and move our program to the next level.”
-          Howard Schnellenberger
Wednesday’s FAU Daily Briefing: What you need to know about stadium vote

Howard Schnellenberger began touting the idea of an on-campus stadium for the Florida Atlantic football program from the minute he arrived on campus in 1998.

By the end of today, Schnellenberger could be closer to seeing his dream, his vision and his ultimate goal for this program become a reality than ever before.
FAU’s trustees will listen to a financing proposal and then vote to proceed with bringing the Owls to campus, where football should be played.
There will still be hurdles to clear – namely the expected approval of the deal by Regions Bank and final approval by the Florida Board of Governors on Sept. 16. Today’s vote doesn’t mean a stadium is coming to FAU, but it’s the final approval from the Board of Trustees and it’s a big step in the right direction.
Here’s some FAQ’s on what today’s developments mean...
Q: Is the stadium vote a ‘done deal’?
A: Approval is expected by the trustees, but anyone who thinks this has already been decided hasn’t been paying very much attention to the twists and turns over the last 10 years. In fact, the last time the process was described as a series of rubber-stamps was a few months ago. You know the rest – FAU ran into a series of delays that has FAU cutting it close to have the project completed in time for the 2011 season.
Way too many people have looked foolish in the past with premature predictions for what path this journey would take only to be forced to back-track. Oh, I expect the trustees to approve, but as we've seen before, anything can happen so pardon me if I wait it until the vote is actualy cast.
Q: If the project is approved by the board, what’s  next?
A: The financing must be approved by the lender, Regions Bank. However, Regions Bank has been involved in the process since it was accepted as the lender, so it knows what FAU is planning and is comfortable with the deal.
The final approval will come from the Board of Governors on Sept. 16. FAU is confident the project will be approved by the board, which includes chairman Frank Brogan, the former FAU president who oversaw much of the funding proposal. Also on the board is former FAU trustee Norm Tripp, who also is familiar with the project and put David Kian in charge of this massive undertaking when he was chairman of the FAU BOT. Both Brogan and Tripp had plenty to do with this project getting off the ground and presumably would like to see the project approved.
Q: Enough bureaucracy. When can construction start and when it can be finished?
A: If the Governors approve it, the next step is closing, which is to take place by Oct. 1, but may not take that long and could be a few days after the meeting. After that, it will be time to page Dr. Mary Jane Saunders, Kian, Howard Schnellenberger, Craig Angelos and Terry Mohajir and tell them to report to the construction site to stick the ceremonial shovels in the ground.
Q: What about the 2011 season?
A: Kian told me Tuesday that the normal 18-month construction process can be squeezed into a 12-month time frame primarily because much of the site preparation work is already underway thanks to the dorms under construction in the housing component of Innovation Village.
However, I don’t own a hard hat and didn’t  stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but it doesnt take a construction engineer to know there isn’t much (or any) room for delays before the opening would have to be pushed back to later in the season – or even after the season.
That said, I’ve been impressed with the speed of the construction of the dorms, but throw a couple of bad storms in there and the construction crew will really be up against the clock.
Q: What will the final product look like?
A; That may be the best part of this whole process. Check out these renderings and let me know if the wait has been worth it.
The renderings released Tuesday show a stadium that Schnellenberger and Owl fans can be proud of and will be the crown jewel of the campus and the city of Boca Raton.
There have been plenty of ups and downs as FAU has tried to get this stadium built, but someday soon FAU fans will be able sit down in this facility in the first college football game in Palm Beach County and no one will remember the delays. We’ll just be happy that finally – there’s Football in Paradise.
> Owl Links: Your daily guide to what’s being written about FAU was the only media outlet to talk to Athletic Director Craig Angelos and David Kian, FAU’s point man for the stadium project for our story.
Other linkage..
Here’s stories on the stadium from the Sun-Sentinel and The South Florida Business Journal.
The Murfreesboro Daily News-Journal says ASU’s Hall won the pre-season SBC defensive player of the year honor by default.
The Denton-Record Chronicle examines the Sun Belt’s stable of running backs.
Tuesday's FAU Daily Briefing: Tight ends making the plays this summer

Entering this summer’s voluntary workouts I fully expected wide receiver Lester Jean to be a playmaker. He’s done exactly that, regularly making at least one TD catch during the drive portion of the 7-on-7s.

What I didn’t expect was that the depth at tight end would be featured so prominently. We know Rob Housler is talented and the glimpses we saw of Darian Williams made us believe he could be special.

Those who saw Monday’s 3-2-See segment know that Nexon Dorvilus continues to make plays – so many, in fact, that there were some leftovers on the cutting room floor. He still needs to add some bulk to play the position, but his hands are stellar.

All three tight ends made big catches during Monday’s workout. The video clip below features a play from Housler, then Williams and finally Dorvilus.

Though he didn’t make these highlights, Alex Fick (photo) has also been making some plays this summer. I’m not sure how many opportunities he'll get when the season starts, but FAU coaches have to be pleased with his improvement.

> Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU

The Sun Belt Conference released its pre-season All-Sun Belt team. was quickest to tell FAU fans that Alfred Morris and Tavious Polo represented the Owls.

Other linkage...


Schnellenberger says Owls need fast start as Sun Belt Media Days kicks off

Day One of the Sun Belt Conference Media Days is in the books and to kick-off the two-day media session with coaches and the reporters who cover the league, the conference turned to Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger.

Schnellenberger didn’t seem to mind his team was picked fifth, even though the Owls were in a tie for third place last season.
If the Owls are to contend for the Sun Belt Conference title, they need to avoid the slow start that plagued them in 2008 and 09.
“We have to come out of the chute fast if we are going to be able to compete in the conference,” Schnellenberger said.
That’s true – and possible.
FAU doesn't face the two teams picked to win the Sun Belt Conference – Middle Tennessee and Troy – until the final two games of the season.
The Blue Raiders were picked to win the championship narrowly over the Trojans in the poll by the Sun Belt’s coaches.
Schnellenberger concurred with the assemement  that the Trojans and Blue Raiders are the two best teams in the Sun Belt.
“They are rightfully the favorites going into this year and they have a wonderful programs at both places,” Schnellenberger said. “All the rest of us are trying to catch up and trying to rise to the occasion but we better have a game plan for them.”
Monday’s Daily FAU Briefing: Sun Belt Media Days ready set to begin

I know I need professional help when I am actually looking forward to the next two days because of the opportunity to listen to Sun Belt coaches talk about the upcoming season during Sun Belt Media Days on Monday and Tuesday.

I just hope at least one coach will be “excited to get practice started.”
Anyway, I’m sure something interesting will develop out of the Media Days, which for the second year – and probably for the rest of eternity will be done by teleconference instead of allowing actual sportswriter interaction with coaches, athletic directors and players.
The Sun Belt isn’t the only conference to do it this way, but it’s a bad sign when the league doesn’t take its own football seriously enough to hold a measly media day.
It’s a shame for FAU, because Howard Schnellenberger was the star at the old Sun Belt Media Days and always had a gaggle of reporters around him taking notes. Now he’s just one of many whose talking head will be on a computer screen.
The FAU portion begins at 11 a.m. Monday and we'll let you know what was covered.
Anyway, get ready for the 2010 football season’s first big event.
Gentleman, start your “coachspeak.”
Sunday's FAU Daily Briefing: Could there be a Freedom pipeline to Boca Raton?

Not everyone in Josue Joseph’s household threw confetti when the Orlando-Freedom offensive lineman became the first to commit to FAU’s 2011 recruiting class.

“I thought it was too quick, but commitment is commitment,” said Josue’s younger brother and teammate Dieugot Joseph (photo, right, with Josue).

Before FAU fans storm Orlando insisting on a Cain and Abel showdown, it should be noted that Dieugot’s comment wasn’t intended as a slap at FAU, he simply didn’t want to see his brother rush into the choice.

Dieugot had never seen FAU’s campus until Saturday, when Freedom was back in Boca Raton for FAU’s 7-on-7 tournament. Both brothers are lineman so they couldn’t compete on Saturday, but Josue brought his 6-foot-5, 215-pound younger brother down to see the campus and meet some of the coaches anyway.

“I’ve seen the campus and the football players working out in (the Oxley Center) – it’s nice,” said Dieugot, who will be a junior this season and has the frame to become one of the better players in Orlando in the coming years.

Josue seemed more resolute than ever about choosing FAU, saying he was looking forward to making an official visit.

“It’s real firm,” Freedom coach Andy Johnson said of Josue’s commitment. “I think the recruiting process for him is over. The thing about him is that he’s going to have a huge senior year, so I think people are going to keep coming hard at him, but I think he’s real firm here.”

Josue may help convince another of his current teammates to join him on the trip south. FAU is showing interest in Freedom defensive end Aaron Nielsen, who recorded 46 tackles and four sacks as a junior despite not switching from tight end to the defensive line until the mid point of the season.

Florida International has offered Nielson and he plans on taking a trip to Kansas in the coming weeks. Neilsen would seriously consider an offer from FAU.

“They will be in the mix,” he said. “I like the area and Howard Schnellenberger is a really good coach.”

Surprisingly, Nielsen’s strong second half last season and his spring workouts may be partly responsible for FAU landing Josue.

“People came out to see Aaron and fell in love with Josue,” Johnson said. “(Josue) has so much football ahead of him. He’s just scratched the surface.”

Checking out FAU: While on the topic of lineman, Orlando-Evans prized recruit Darrell Williams came to Boca Raton to watch his teammates play in the 7-on-7 tournament and to get a look at FAU’s campus.

Though he says he’s still “wide open,” Williams already has offers from Florida State, Mississippi, South Carolina and N. C. State, so I don’t expect to see him wearing the blue and red.

Owl links: Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU
What seemed like a casual weekend suddenly burst to life late Saturday afternoon when FAU offered North Broward Prep wide receiver A. J. Sebastiano – and if you saw him on Saturday you would have wondered how it was possible he didn’t already have multiple offers. He was that good. Along with the story, we also posted these video highlights of his 7-on-7 performance.

Other linkage....

...Adam Sparks of the Murfreesboro Daily News-Journal reports that Chase Vergason was the lone Owl selected to the first team of an unofficial All-Freshman Sun Belt baseball team. Vergason, of course, decided to transfer to Florida Tech after the season ended.

Saturday's Daily Briefing: Vuvuzelas at FAU games?

The Florida Atlantic SGA has expressed some interest in something that could create a real buzz for Owls football games.

That’s right – there are some preliminary plans to buy and distribute vuvuzelas for football games.
As of Friday, nothing has been finalized, but it is still under consideration.
However, there is one problem – and it’s a doozy.
Vuvuzelas are outlawed by the Sun Belt Conference. According to the conference office, the obnoxious horns, which became a global sensation during the World Cup, fall under the conference policy prohibiting artificial noisemakers at games.
I really wish this wasn’t the case as I believe the vuvuzelas would add to a festive atmosphere at games. Of course, it should be noted that the windows in the press box at Lockhart Stadium don’t open.
So, my official stance is this: I think the horns would be a great idea, provided I don’t have to hear them.
> Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about the Owls
We always celebrate the end of the work week with a look at former FAU players in the minors with Former Owl Friday. This week’s featured player is pitcher Alex Pepe.
Friday's FAU Daily Briefing: Sands plays softball

I’ve always loved watching the British Open. I think it’s because when I was young it seemed like I was getting away with something. Watching a sporting event on TV at a time there really isn’t supposed to be – an early weekday morning – that price was right.

Plus The Open has the added attraction of being played on golf courses the likes of which we don’t see down here, frequently in conditions we never hope see. Basically the only thing we really do get to see a lot of down here are pants like John Daly was wearing. Just visit any swap shop.

In any event, I’m hoping the weather turns bad this morning at St. Andrew’s just to watch some of these professionals play golf like I do – all over the place. At times it almost looks like they’d fare better by whacking the ball with a croquet mallet.

With the championship being decided this weekend, it seemed like a good time to pull out FAU golf coach Angelo Sands’ response in our series of questions to FAU coaches about player swapping.

Which athlete from another FAU sports team would you most like to have on your team and why?
SANDS: All the athletes at FAU care for their sport and work to be the best they can. I like to look past the athletic side and more towards the community service. With that I have chosen Blair Bodenmiller (photo, right) from softball. Blair sets the tone on the field, in the weight room, classroom and has the softball team heavily involved with community service. Blair and the softball team adopted a young lady who is recovering from brain cancer. Blair organized a system that the team regularly corresponded with her to lift her spirits. The list goes on and on.

Which player on your team do you think would have success on a different FAU sports team and why?
SANDS: Justin Thompson would be my choice to play any sport. He is in great shape is big, fast and has great coordination. He is from a sports family.

Luckily neither Bodemiller nor Thompson will be asked to try on John Daly’s pants. However, if you see a guy at Bru’s Room tonight wearing an incredible knockoff of those stylin’ pantalones, it’s probably me. I’m betting chicks dig it.

> Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU
We completed our countdown of the Top 10 FAU sports stories of this past season with our choice for No. 1 – Rusty Smith becoming the first Owl ever drafted. How’d we do?

Other linkage...

  • We're a bit biased since nearly all of the clips in these highlights were shot by, but kudos to Jared Smith for his 2010 Baseball Highlight Video. You can also check out our video of the 2010 season by clicking here.



FAU women’s basketball coach Lou DiFeo takes job at Kent State

The FAU women’s basketball program is losing a great coach and a great person in assistant coach Lou DiFeo.

DiFeo is taking a position as an assistant at Kent State and believe me, the Golden Flashes are getting a good one.
A tireless recruiter, DiFeo also brought some intensity from the bench as anyone who has been to FAU women’s basketball games the last two years can attest.
Kent State is one of the top programs in the MAC and DiFeo will be coaching under Bob Lindsay, who has been at KSU for 18 years and is the winningest coach in MAC history.
DiFeo will certainly be missed at FAU.
Thursday's FAU Daily Briefing: What exactly are they doing at these voluntary workouts?

I’ve been asked a couple times recently what kinds of drills the players are doing at their voluntary workouts.

So far the format has been pretty standard. After warming up, running backs, tight ends and wide receivers work on routes with the quarterbacks. Cornerback Tavious Polo had a little fun with this part on Wednesday. That photo doesn’t show Polo making a pick. It’s him catching a deep ball. He's still lobbying coaches to let him play both ways.

Following the route-running, they turn to a full 7-on-7, starting each play from near midfield. The real meat of the workout comes in the final 20-to-30 when the offense tries to drive the field, picking up first downs and ultimately touchdowns.

Jeff Van Camp leads the offense on the first drive, then David Kooi and Graham Wilbert get their drives. Kooi, incidentally, was the only one of the three who didn’t throw a pick during the drive portion on Wednesday.

Yes, some offensive and defensive linemen are out there, but they mostly keep themselves segregated at the end of the field working on quickness and agility drills.

The whole workout only lasts about an hour and a half. After the past couple workouts players have stayed late to work on special teams stuff – fielding punts, etc. It’s informal – NCAA rules prohibit coaches from being out there – which allows you to see a different level of interaction among players.

The workouts are on Mondays and Wednesdays, and will continue until the start of fall pre-season practices in early August.

Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU
Busy day on In the morning we were the first to tell FAU fans that Richard Lage will be the newest FAU football coach.

In the evening we also attended the voluntary workouts. Our 3-2-See video shows the top plays from earlier in the afternoon.

First official FAU depth chart of pre-season is out

Florida Atlantic’s 2010 football media guide is officially out and you can download all 107 pages by clicking here. Nice job by Katrina McCormack and the entire SID office on this one.

Of course I’m just happy one is being printed after so many other programs are just posting them on-line and not printing an actual guide.

Included of course in the guide is the first official depth chart of the pre-season, which is always interesting to use as a starting point. There are a few surprises, but I am going to wait until I talk to the coaches to see what’s going on because it wouldn’t be prudent to speculate.
Here’s the official way they stand heading into pre-season practices, which begin on Aug. 7.
> Offense
  • WR 3 Lester Jean / 87 Byron Hankerson
  • WR 1 Avery Holley / 2 DeAndre Richardson
  • LT 53 Sam McCroy / 63 DeAndre Williams
  • LG 91 Andy Czuprynski / 67 Ryan Houston
  • C 79 Jordan Sessa / 68 Jimmie Colley
  • RG 65 Eric Hansen / 65 Mike Nweze
  • RT 55 Joseph Bailey / 64 Max Karrick
  • TE 81 Rob Housler / 85 Darian Williams
  • RB 32 Alfred Morris / 28 Willie Floyd OR 25 Jeff Blanchard
  • QB 12 Jeff Van Camp / 15 David Kooi OR 14 Graham Wilbert
> Defense
  • LDE 92 Kevin Cyrille / 31 Cory Henry
  • LDT 58 Dino Cox / 94 Andrew Stryffler
  • RDT 96 Jimmy Jean / 94 Jarvis Givens
  • RDE 98 Jamere Johnson / 99 Daniel Joseph
  • SLB 39 Malik Eugene / 48 Yourhighness Morgan
  • MLB 45 Michael Lockley / 57 David Hinds
  • WLB 42 Alex Pattee / 66 Randell Johnson
  • CB 5 Tavious Polo / 34 Keith Reaser
  • SS 27 Marcus Bartels / 18 Tony Rodriguez
  • FS 38 Ed Alexander / 24 Brentley Harstad
  • CB 9 Tarvoris Hill / 26 Curtis Cross
> Special Teams
  • P 17 Mickey Groody / 34 Matthew Leicht
  • K 20 Ross Gornall / 34 Vinny Zaccario
  • LS 69 Morgan Barnett / 46 Tim Raber

Anything here catch your attention?

Wednesday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Sun Belt celebrates 10 years of football

Like FAU, the Sun Belt Conference will celebrate its 10th anniversary offering football this season and the conference has plenty planned to celebrate the milestone.

The conference has enlisted members of the media for voting on an all-decade team as well as the Sun Belt’s top 10 moments and plays.
I know FAU only joined the Sun Belt in 2006, but I would think the Owls deserve some recognition on these lists, so I ask you which FAU players deserve a place on the All-Sun Belt 10-year anniversary teams and what moments and plays would be significant in the history of the Sun Belt?
I am one of the voters in this media poll, so let me know what to consider.
It should make for some fun discussion when the Sun Belt releases the results.
> Owl Links: What's being written about FAU
At we announced our No. 2 story of the year, the baseball team winning the regular-season Sun Belt title.
Other linkage…
Tuesday's FAU Daily Briefing: Freshman QBs Bracewell, Curtis learn during first 7-on-7 workouts

FAU quarterback Jeff Van Camp will guide the Owls' offense this year. On Monday he was also a teacher.
With incoming freshmen quarterbacks Nick Bracewell and Stephen Curtis participating in their first voluntary workouts, Van Camp spent plenty of time trying to help the two young QBs get a feel for the offense.
“Jeff knows the system, the playbook, so well,” Bracewell said. “Learning from Jeff makes it easier for me.”
Bracewell and Curtis cited the speed of the game as being the biggest difference from past workouts, but neither expects it will take long to adjust.
“Obviously they are athletic and they have good arms,” Van Camp said. “Being out here before school starts is definitely going to help them out.”
The quarterbacks weren’t the only incoming freshman out there on Monday. Tight end Alex DeLeon caught some passes and even participated in the drive portion of the 7-on-7 drills. His catch set up the final touchdown. Figured y’all wouldn’t mind a look at Alex, so here’s video of that catch.

After practice DeLeon watched Avery Holley work on fielding and returning punts. Turns out DeLeon returned kickoffs in high school and would like to do it for FAU.
DeLeon is well aware that tight end Jason Harmon returned some kicks last year. He probably has a couple years to work on leaping defenders.

Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU

In our Monday Morning Quarterback feature, we looked at Brian Carney, a wide receiver from Pope John Paul II, who has garnered FAU’s attention. In that article we also provided an update from Atlantic wide receiver  Ezekiel Turner, who has an offer from FAU.

We were also on the practice fields for the Owls voluntary workouts on Monday. Our 3-2-See recap features the first video of Bracewell and Curtis going through drills with their new teammates.


FAU-Arkansas State to be televised and maybe some others

The Sun Belt Network, which has games shown on CSS in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, will televise FAU’s Oct. 23 game at Arkansas State, giving the Owls at least three TV appearances this season.

FAU’s games at Michigan State on Sept. 11 and vs. Troy on Dec. 4 will both be televised on ESPNU.
While three games don’t really seem like all that many, the Owls could benefit from a new Sun Belt Network policy for deciding which games are shown late in the season.
In a move that could really drum up interest, games on Nov. 6, Nov. 13, Nov. 20 and Nov. 27 are listed as “wild-card selections” giving the conference the flexibility to show the best matchup of the week.
Here’s FAU’s schedule for those weeks:
  • Nov. 6 FAU at Western Kentucky
  • Nov. 13 ULL at FAU
  • Nov. 20 FAU at Texas
  • Nov. 27 FAU at MTSU
Just a quick glance at the Sun Belt schedule makes me think the Owls-Blue Raiders could be televised if both teams are performing as expected.
The Ragin’ Cajuns-Owls game will also likely get some serious consideration as well and the Texas game could be on PPV.
Regardless of whether any additional FAU games are picked (which will largely be determined by the Owls' success this season) this is a great move by the Sun Belt to show the games that matter down the stretch.
 By the way, here is the entire Sun Belt Network schedule for this season
  • Sept. 11 Arkansas State at Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Sept. 18 Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State
  • Sept. 25 MSTU at Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Oct. 2 Louisiana-Lafayette at North Texas
  • Oct. 9 Western Kentucky at FIU
  • Oct. 16 FIU at North Texas
  • Oct. 30 Troy at Louisiana-Monroe
  • Nov. 6 Wild Card Selection
  • Nov. 13 Wild Card Selection
  • Nov. 20 Wild Card Selection
  • Nov. 27 Wild Card Selection


Monday's Daily Briefing: Donev looking for a wide receiver

Remember back when we did our World Cup preview with FAU soccer coaches Kos Donev and Brian Dooley? Among the questions we asked them was, Who will win it all?

Donev chose Spain. For those of you who spent the weekend in LeBron La La Land and missed it, Donev got it right.

We don’t have the keys to a new car to offer Donev, and I don’t know if this qualifies as a reward, but it seemed like a good time to shine the spotlight back on the men’s soccer program.

This morning we’ll continue our series where we ask FAU coaches about other FAU athletes they’d like to coach. Here’s Donev’s answers.

Which athlete from another FAU sports team would you most like to have on your team and why?
Donev: Any of the wide receivers from the football team as long as we can put some magic of the real futbal on them.

Which player on your team do you think would have success on a different FAU sports team and why?
Donev: Darnell King (photo). He is focused, dedicated and very athletic, yet very humble on the field.

FAU football players will be on the Oxley Center practice fields today for voluntary workouts. We’ll be there to see whether wide receivers Lester Jean, Avery Holley or DeAndre Richardson are able to score a GOOOOOOOOOOAL!

Sunday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Former Owl helps with successful camp

Hats off to former FAU running back Anthony Jackson, who was part of the staff of Prep and Sports, who pulled off another successful clinic and 7-on-7 tournament for their organization Saturday.

It doesn’t hurt when Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Brandon Flowers, a driving force at Prep and Sports, and Indianapolis Colts receiver Pierre Garcon are in attendance to talk to kids about what they need to do to succeed. Following their talk, 16 teams from around the area square off in a 7-on-7 tournament.
This was the first year the event has been held at the Delray Soccer Complex at the old Atlantic High School and Jackson said he was pleased with the number of participants.
“There must have been a couple of hundred out here when the little kids were here,” said Jackson, who is now an academic counselor for the FAU athletic department. “Every year it seems to get bigger and better.”
I also ran into Jackson’s partner in the backfield for some of those early years at FAU – Doug Parker. Parker will be an assistant coach for upstart Village Academy, which is putting together a pretty good collection of young talent,
Good to see Parker and Jackson (pictured, standing)  still in the community giving back.
Saturday’s Daily Briefing: Sun Belt Media Days coming up

It’s hard to believe we are just a little more than a week away from Sun Belt Conference Media Days, the last in the series of off-season events that mean the football season is getting closer.

Unfortunately, Sun Belt Media Days aren’t nearly as big as deal as they used to be. Instead of writers heading to New Orleans to interview coaches and players in person over two days, the Sun Belt has again decided to simply just have a video conference.
Forget about a coach dropping a nugget of information in your lap if it’s just you and him talking, for the second year in a row coaches will just spout their coach speak about the balanced league, how they are ready to get going and that they expect to compete this year.
Hopefully this year something interesting will develop, but it shows how badly I want the season to begin that I am actually excited about hearing Sun Belt coaches go over their two-deep depth chart.
Here’s the schedule of schools for next week’s Sun Belt Media Days...
Monday, July 19
North Texas
Tuesday, July 20
Owl Links: Your Daily Guide to what’s being written about the Owls
At it was time for our weekly report on former FAU players playing minor league baseball as Tim McNab was the subject of this week’s Former Owl Friday.
Other linkage…
  • Before the Sun Belt releases its pre-season poll of coaches and media members, the Daily News Journal took a poll of Sun Belt newspaper writers for this poll that has MTSU first and FAU fourth.
Friday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Michigan State getting ready for FAU

Maybe FAU should name something at the new on-campus stadium in honor of the Michigan State Spartans. Possibly the ticket window.

After all, MSU is certainly getting the word out on the Spartans-Owls game in Detroit on Sept. 11 at Ford Field.
Michigan State featured the game’s tickets going on sale prominently on its web site this week and the Detroit Free Press took notice with an article letting its readers know the Spartans are coming to Detroit.
In another sign the game is garnering some interest in East Lansing, yours truly was a guest on the Spartan Nation radio show earlier this week talking about the Owls.
They take a little while to load because they are long, but you can listen to me on the show here: Segment 1 / Segment 2
That’s a lot of interest that may drum up ticket sales to benefit the Owls and help toward the building of their on-campus stadium. Remember, since FAU is technically the home team, it gets the gate receipts.
I haven’t heard or seen  anything FAU is doing in Detroit to promote the game so it can make more money on the contest, so I hope the work being done by MSU is appreciated by FAU.
Owl Links: Your guide to what's being written about the Owls had a full day of football talk starting with Owl Talk with Brian Rowitz, our weekly podcast on FAU sports. Listen as Rowitz breaks down Louisiana-Monroe with Monroe News-Star beat writer Tabby Soignier and Arkansas State with the Jonesboro Sun's Kevin Tuberville.
We also continued our countdown of the year's Top 10 Stories with our No. 3 Story of the Year -the emergence of RB Alfred Morris.
Thursday’s Daily Briefing: Owls go through 7-on-7 workout

Every Monday and Wednesday until training camp starts, the Owls are running 7-on-7 drills as part of their voluntary off-season conditioning program, so I dropped by the Oxley Practice Fields to check it out.

I’m not sure how much stock to put in 7-on-7s, but it seems like I have seen so much  of this kind of competition , it’s going to seem strange when lineman join the fray when practices starting for real in early August.
7-on-7s seem to be taking over, so it only made sense that I looked at the calendar before I arrived at the field and it was July 7 (07.07)
At any rate here are a few observations and players that stood out during FAU’s 7-on-7 drill.
  • If 7-on-7s are all about receivers and quarterback getting in synch, the Owls are in good shape. WR Lester Jean (pictured) had a nifty grab in the end zone of a Jeff Van Camp pass where Jean had to out-leap the defensive back to grab the ball.
  • Speaking of Jean, this guy is so serious on the field now. He used to joke around and preen for the cameras, but he was all business Wednesday. Looks like someone is taking their senior season very seriously.
  • I like what I am seeing from tight end Nexon Dorvilus. Dorvilus didn’t do much in the spring, but was still recovering from a broken arm that was supposed to keep him out of spring drills but was cleared just before they began. Dorvilus has great hands, although he did drop a David Kooi pass when he was wide open.
  • It’s finally his time, so look for good things from fullback Xavier Stinson. If these drills can show anything it’s that Stinson can carry the ball and make quick cuts. I hope part of the offensive gameplan this season is to give him plenty of carries.
Owl Links: Your guide to what's being written about the Owls
Here at we had the first installment of video highlights from the 7-on-7 workouts which no Owl fan will want to miss. Check out ‘3-2-See’ as we bring you the top three plays from the workouts.
We also continued our countdown of the Stories of the Year, with the firing of Kirk Hoza as the No. 4 Story of the Year.
Other linkage..
Michigan State announces to its fans that tickets for the FAU game in Detroit on Sept. 11 will go on sale Friday. Glad to see MSU is marketing the game, because it only helps FAU financially.
Wednesday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Wear jersey, get stuff?

I found this while reading Owl Watch - a University Press blog covering SGA activities and thought this might be of interest to FAU hoops fans.

The FAU SGA apparently is working toward a project that would give basketball jerseys to students to wear to basketball games and those students would be eligible for some prizes by doing so. The blog mentions “some free food, trips to away games, or the chance to be assistant coach for a night, if all the details get worked out.”
The jersey idea is mentioned in blogs here and here.
Without knowing many of the details, this seems like a good idea if it comes to fruition and could maybe expand the FAU student section at The Burrow. If it catches on, perhaps a similar plan could be hatched for football or even baseball games.
Hey, at least the students are coming up with some ideas to get more people to the games.
Owl Links: Your daily guide tio what's being written about the Owls continued its countdown of the biggest story of the year, checking in with No. 5 on our list – the progress of the on-campus FAU football stadium.
Other linkage…
Think South Alabama is aiming for a slow transition to the Sun Belt Conference? The Jaguars announced transfers from Arkansas State and ULM and a former starting linebacker from Virginia Tech will join the team.
Tuesday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Does mess at Georgia affect FAU?

I hope you enjoyed the long Fourth of July weekend and were able to take in some fireworks in soggy South Florida.

If not there were also a few fireworks in Athens, Ga., where Athletic Director Damon Evans was arrested and charged with DUI. The ugly details are here, but Evans didn’t survive the weekend and by Monday was out of a job.
But since this in an FAU blog, here’s how Evans’ dismissal could – or could not – affect the Owls.
First, does FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos get consideration for this job?
Remember Angelos was a serious candidate and was a finalist for jobs at SEC jobs at Mississippi State and LSU in the last few years. However, Angelos isn’t interviewing for jobs like he was back then.
Angelos told me this morning he was happy where he is.
Just a guess here, but Angelos might be content to stay to see the on-campus football stadium project through – something that doesn’t look too bad on a resume – before looking for his next gig.
However, I wouldn't blame him for checking out the job out if Georgia were to come calling.
Second, what about a rumored game between Georgia and FAU?
At one time, Evans and Angelos discussed a possible game between the Bulldogs and the Owls. It would have been a natural with Howard Schnellenberger facing one of his former players, Mark Richt, who played for Schnellenberger at UM. Also, does anyone remember that Richt, who played at Boca Raton, was also considered to be a candidate for the FAU head coaching job by Schnellenberger when Richt was the offensive coordinator at Florida State?
However, FAU and Georgia haven’t talked recently, so Evans’ departure does nothing to increase or decrease a possible game between the Bulldogs and the Owls.
Owl Links: Your guide to what's being written about the Owls talked with Centennial running back Jarvaris Giles about picking up an offer from FAU as part of our weekly Monday Morning Quarterback series.
Monday’s FAU Daily Briefing: A few items, but no bombshells

I hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July and will enjoy today’s third-day of the weekend.

I wish I had an M-80 of news for you this morning, but all I can offer is a few bottle rockets of news and views over the weekend.
Views: The last time the Owls were at WKU, the game was played at night and it can be cold when the sun goes down in early November, so it could help the Owls, although most of the game will be played under the lights.
Views: Campbell didn’t too much at UT, but any player who was recruited by one of the top programs in the nation must have some talent. You can bet he’ll get a shot at MTSU.
Sunday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Fireworks edition

We wish you a happy Fourth of July today from the team at

If you are looking for a way to celebrate Independence Day, don’t forget that one of the larget fireworks displays and celebrations in the area is at FAU.
Here are the details to the event, which is the most-attended event on campus each year – with tens of thousands of people flocking to the campus.
It will be a beautiful sight to see the fireworks explode over a new football stadium soon.
Happy Fourth of July, Owl fans.
Owl Links: Your guide to what's being written about the Owls
We posted the next in our series on Stories of the Year with our look at the impact the newcomers made on the FAU basketball team.
Other linkage…
The Palm Beach Post had a nice story on formerFAU golfer Steve LeBrun, who is making a name for himself on the Minor League Golf Tour.
Saturday's Daily Briefing: Dugan picks her athlete

When first toying around with the idea of asking coaches which player from another FAU sports team they’d like to have on their own team, we considered limiting coaches from selecting a male or female athlete that plays the same sport – i.e. women’s soccer couldn’t select a men’s soccer player.

Ultimately, we decided it might be interesting to learn which male player a coach from a female team might select whether the opposite would happen. I think letting coaches choose a player from their own sport provides insight into which attributes that coach values on their team.

A perfect example is today’s coach, Chancellor Dugan of the women’s basketball team. The easy selection might have been Justin Davis, who is the tallest member of the men’s team. Or maybe Greg Gantt, who can score and brings height.

How about Ray Taylor, whose size wouldn’t be such a detriment on her team? Or Dugan could simply leave the hardwood, grabbing a tight end who could be a space eater in the post or a volleyball player who could rebound and block shots.

Who did Dugan choose? Take a look.

Which athlete from another FAU sports team would you most like to have on your team and why?
Dugan: Ray Ray (Ray Taylor). I love his attitude and work ethic in practice, then when it’s game time, he becomes an assassin.  He has the heart of a champion.

Which player on your team do you think would have success on a different FAU sports team and why?
Dugan: Bre Turner in track sprints. She is very fast and likes to compete.  Bre would be a great sprinter because she hates to lose ---don’t tell (track coach) Alex (Smolka)!!  LOL

Editor’s Note: As a freshman Taylor averaged 14.2 points per game and doled out a team-high 5.9 assists per game. Turner, a sophomore, averaged 5.3 points.

Owl LinksYour daily guide to what is being written about FAU
We took a break from our countdown of the 10 biggest FAU sports stories of the year to talk with Dan Cook for the latest installment of Former Owl Friday.

I have a feeling there might be more talk about Ray Taylor later on the main site.

Friday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Gordon, Eskimos ready to start CFL season

It’s a little more than a month before FAU’s pre-season training camp begins, but one former Owl will start games for real this weekend.

That’s right, the CFL began its regular season last night and the Edmonton Eskimos will open its season Sunday vs. the B.C. Lions.
Expected to be starting in the secondary for the Eskimos is former FAU defensive back Lawrence Gordon.
Gordon played for Hamilton the last few seasons, but signed with Edmonton in the off-season.
FAU fans who want to watch “Flash” are in luck. Several CFL games will be shown on NFL Network this season including Edmonton’s game at Saskatchewan on July 17.
And if anyone disses the CFL, you’ll have to take it up with Howard Schnellenberger, who played in the CFL in the 1950s after he graduated from Kentucky.
Owl Links: Your guide to what’s being written about the Owls
At we continued our countdown of our stories of the year with the national buzz created by the Rain Delay Theater video coming in as our No. 7 story of the year.
We’ll be sticking with baseball again today with another installment of the popular Former Owl Friday feature.
Thursday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Athletic Department balances budget

Today is the start of the 2010-11 fiscal year at FAU and the folks on the second floor of the Oxley Center are starting the year off in good spirits.

That’s because FAU was able to balance its budget of around $14 million for the fiscal year that ended Wednesday, Athletic Director Craig Angelos said.
In this economy, that’s no small feat.
“We were fortunate that some things went our way,” Angelos said. “Fund-raising and corporate sales were a little down, but other areas were a little up. Hopefully with the economy rebounding fund-raising will improve next year. The bottom line is we made it work. I take a lot of pride in the adjustments we made.”
Last year at this time the athletic department needed a $390,000 bridge loan to balance its budget, but this year no accounting tricks were needed to keep the year-ending balance in the black.
“We balanced the budget without any help,” Angelos said. “It was a good year.”
FAU kept expenses in line, but didn’t have to do anything drastic to make ends meet – and that’s a good thing.
Owl Links: Your daily guide to what’s being written about the Owls
In a sure sign football is getting closer, players went through their first 7-on-7 workout since players reported for summer school. had it covered with a story and some photos from the workout.

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Go watch college football in Boca. It's that simple. Support your local team and go have a good time!

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Nicely done Jake. Great addition to Owl Access.

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