Emmons, however, insists there’s more to it than that.
“I already know how Kiffin rolls,” Emmons said.
A different coach, one on Kiffin’s staff is the one who ultimately prompted Emmons to choose FAU.
During his visit to Boca Raton Emmons sat with running backs coach Kevin Smith, talking football philosophy and breaking down film.
“I got a good bond with coach Smith,” Emmons said.
FAU’s official Signing Day release did not include Emmons, but Emmons did sign relatively late in the day, which could be the reason for the holdup. The Owls also didn’t officially announce the signing of Lakewood-Lyman defensive end Deon Woods.
NCAA rules forbid coaches from commenting on players until their signing paperwork is complete. Kiffin did say he expected more signings to be announced shortly.
Emmons played one season at Alabama before transferring to Hutchinson CC, where he averaged 4.6 yards per carry and scored 10 touchdowns in 12 games for Hutchinson. He fumbled the ball seven times, losing four of them.
Once Emmons is official he’ll join speedy Kissimmee-Osceola running back Malcom Davidson in FAU’s 2018 recruiting class. They join what was already a crowded backfield, highlighted by record-setter Devin Singletary, who led the national with 31 touchdowns in 2017.
Emmons knows what to expect from a Kiffin-led offense.
“Pass here, pass here; run here, run here – you never know what he’s going to do,” Emmons said. “I feel sorry for the defenses that we are going to play.”
Emmons is the most recognizable name to sign with FAU on Wednesday, but he wasn’t the most surprising. That honor goes to Austin (Ala.) offensive lineman Marquice Robinson.
The 6-foot-4, 315-pound interior lineman drew interest from SEC schools early in the recruiting process but their interest faded as Robinson’s academic concerns mounted. Robinson appears to have steadied the ship, but that happened too late for the Power 5 schools.
Robinson entered the week believing he would sign with FCS-level Chattanooga, but FAU came through with an offer on Tuesday.
“Coach Kiffin sold me on the dream,” Robinson said. “Like every other college football player, I want to get to the NFL. Coach Kiffin knows the plan.”
FAU’s 2018 Signing Class, as announced, contains 16 signees.
More than any other class in program history, FAU’s 2018 signing class is a national class.
“We were able to go national more than this school ever has and national for kids that this school probably wouldn’t get,” Kiffin said.
Five receruits signed in December’s early signing period. Ten signed on Wednesday. Two more, former Tulane center Junior Diaz and former Auburn wide receiver Kyle Davis, are transfers.
The Owls are currently battling Washington St. for the services of Consumnes Oaks (Calif.) corner Kahlef Hailassie, whose decision could come in the immediate future or take several days. Hailassie skipped the signing ceremony in his community to further deliberate.
Of the eight signess who hail from Florida, only Palm Beach Lakes cornerback Teja Young is a South Florida product. FAU did not sign any players from Broward or Miami-Dade counties, however Diaz played with current FAU left tackle Reggie Bain at Miami-Central. Transfer Jovon Durante, who came to FAU from West Virginia during the summer, played at Miramar.
The Owls went heavy in the trenches, signing five offensive linemen and five defensive linemen.
“I think that we have the skill guys to match those Top 25 programs,” Kiffin said. “We have to start building up front.”
FAU did not sign a tight end or linebacker as part of the class.
- QB – 1
- RB – 2
- WR – 3
- OL –5
- DE – 2
- DT – 3
- DB – 2
- S – 1
FAU did lose a couple of Signing Day battles. Alabama RB Kavosiey Smoke had an FAU hat on the table in front of him but ultimately donned a Kentucky hat. Another Alabama product, cornerback JaKorey Hawkins didn’t stray from his commitment to Mississippi, signing with the Rebels. Georgia offensive lineman Travis Glover elected to stay close to home and play at Georgia St.