The Top 5 questions heading into FAU spring football practice
The wait is almost over.
Give or take a couple of hours, FAU is a day away from the first official practice of the Carl Pelini era. It certainly will be one of the most closely watched springs in the FAU program's brief history.
The coaching change brings new faces and new schemes. FAU will end the spring with a completely different look.
There are many questions that need to be answered. Here are five of the most important questions Pelini and crew will be trying to answer during the coming weeks.
1. Who will play quarterback?
It's the question everyone wants answered, but even if there is a clear-cut winner in the spring that may not mean Pelini will have settled on an opening-game starter. Remember, junior college signee Melvin German won't be in Boca Raton until the summer at the earliest. FAU has seven quarterbacks on scholarship. That number could be halved by the end of the spring.
“Quarterbacks - that's a spot we have to get better at,” Pelini said last week. “Those guys are going to have to come to work every day, because they are going to have to compete just to get reps every day. And then when they get the reps, they are going to be competing for the depth chart. They are going to have to be ready to go.”
2. Who will change positions?
Pelini believes as many as 30 players will change positions. Some will be subtle, like potentially sliding some of the smaller, quicker running backs into the slot receiver role. Others will move from offense to defense. Expect many of the changes to come by the end of the first week.
Pelini's sales pitch to get players to make a move?
“I'm not going to move you to a spot where I don't think you are going to be more successful than where you already are,” he said.
3. How much of an impact will the new players make?
The official depth chart released by FAU didn't feature any JUCO transfers or new enrollees on the two-deep. That will likely change by the second practice. The first-team offensive line could feature two JUCO signees – Mustafa Johnson and Stern Vile – and one FBS transfer – Jonathan Ragoo – in short order. Also, can either Grant Flessner or Colton Kane, freshman quarterbacks who enrolled in January, make an immediate impact?
4. What will the overall tenor of the practices be like?
At times over the past couple years FAU practices seemed to plod along. Will there be more urgency with this new regime? Will it have to move at a slower pace because everyone is trying to learn something new? Will the players respond to new coaching styles?
5. Who will not be around after the spring?
Some players simply won't fit in the new schemes, which means these could be their last practices in FAU uniforms. It wouldn't be surprising for some names extremely familiar to part ways with the Owls following the spring semester.
Pelini says he hasn't cut loose any scholarship players yet, but it certainly sounds like there are a few who aren't making good early impressions.
There are more questions, and we will do our best to answer as many as possible over the coming weeks. As for Monday, OwlAccess.com will be out in full force to cover Pro Day, which starts in the morning, and the first spring practice.
Let the fun begin.