FAU FOOTBALL RECRUITING: The List
BOCA RATON – The dismal of coach Charlie Partridge hasn’t decimated FAU football’s 2017 recruiting class – at least not yet.
Most of the commitments reached by OwlAccess.com shared the sentiments of Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas offensive lineman BJ Etienne.
“We’re waiting it out to see how things go,” Etienne said, referring to himself and his family.
Etienne says he had a feeling Partridge wouldn’t be retained after a third 3-9 season. That makes him one of the few commitments who envisioned the possibility that FAU would move forward without Partridge.
“My reaction to it was kind of, you’re kidding me right?” Longwood-Lyman defensive end Austin Camden said.
The change at FAU puts Camden in a precarious position. He’s coming off his second ACL surgery in as many years.
Camden had been scheduled to make his official visit to FAU this weekend. Through a conversation with defensive line coach Terrance Jamison on Tuesday he learned that all official visits had been put on hold.
He’s turned to his high school coaches for help in navigating the situation.
“Their advice was stay committed but do look for other options just in case that doesn’t pan out,” Camden said.
FAU held commitments from 12 players prior to dismissing Partridge following his third season.
Boynton Beach cornerback Endrickson Boucher de-committed in the hours that followed the announcement of Partridge’s dismissal but thus far the other 11 commitments haven’t publicly taken action.
Regarded as an exceptional recruiter, Partridge emphasized relationship building with his recruits. Those relationships went deeper than the head coach, which may be why so many recruits are willing to stick with their commitments.
“I still feel at home. Coach had a lot to do with me choosing there. I guess I’ll just see how it plays out,” Miami-Booker T. Washington linebacker Isaac Readon said. “Coaches showed me a lot of love. I liked the facilities, the games – it’s somewhere I can feel comfortable.”
Following his removal of Partridge, FAU athletic director Pat Chun reached out to several people for advice in handling recruiting while searching for the next head coach.
Chun told ESPN West Palm on Tuesday that St. Thomas Aquinas athletic director George Smith stressed the importance of ensuring that the FAU assistants, all of whom currently remain on the FAU payroll, remain in touch with current commitments.
St. Augustine (La.) quarterback Justice McCoy said he has a scheduled visit with FAU offensive coordinator Travis Trickett on Thursday.
“If he stays then I’m staying,100 percent,” McCoy said. “I told a couple schools that I would keep my options open just in case coach Trickett would be let go.”
Chun has not set a timetable for hiring FAU’s fifth head coach, other than to say that the school will proceed “expeditiously.”
He also wouldn’t say whether he would tell the new coach to honor the commitments FAU currently holds.
“I don’t want to say anything that locks us or doesn’t lock us into anything,” Chun said.