FAU SUPERLATIVES: Offensive Newcomer of the Year | Defensive Newcomer of the Year
BOCA RATON – Quick. Create a list of the most impactful newcomers on FAU’s defense.
Need more time? OK.
Still thinking? Turns out this list doesn’t have nearly as many candidates as the offensive side of the ball.
The list is so thin that a player who missed the opening weeks of the season actually earned the award.
Among all freshman and first-year transfers, Noah Jefferson actually had the best season on the defensive side of the ball, statistically.
The former USC defensive tackle didn’t see the field for the Owls this season until the Old Dominion game midway through the season and only saw action in six games, during which he recorded seven tackles. On a veteran FAU defensive unit, that’s the most among newcomers.
Jefferson saved his biggest game for the season finale, recording five tackles, including one sack, against Charlotte in a game where the junior terrorized the 49ers offensive line.
At 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds, coaches billed Jefferson as a man among boys. Against Charlotte, that’s exactly how he played. If Jefferson can give the Owls that kind of effort on a weekly basis next year, the defensive line should take a major step forward. His presence alone certainly provides coach Lane Kiffin with a reason for optimism.
Midway through the season fellow defensive tackle Marcel Southall looked like he could be on his way to claiming this award, but an undisclosed injury kept the JUCO transfer on the sidelines for much of the year’s second half.. He’s only credited with three tackles on the season, the last ones coming at Middle Tennessee in Week 5.
For comparison, kicker Austin Laszewski and running back Devin Singletary are also credited with three tackles on the year.
Defensive tackle Charles Cameron, the favorite for the award at the start of fall camp, recorded his only tackle of the season at North Texas.