BOCA RATON – Lane Kiffin is seeing the Reggie Bain he’d only heard about.
FAU camp is only two days old but Bain already seems to have re-established himself at the Owls’ starting left tackle.
“I think he was a freshman All American or something like that,” Kiffin said. “I didn’t see that [in the spring]. I think you guys probably felt that by the way I talked about it, hoping that a lot of it was dealing with the injuries. The time has helped. He looks a lot better.”
Bain missed all of last season after breaking a hip in a motor scooter accident the week before the opening game.
He returned to the field for spring practice, but wasn’t close to the player that was selected to the 2016 preseason All-Conference USA team.
Spending a summer in Wilson Love’s strength and conditioning program has Bain feeling like he can contend for that same postseason honor this year.
“It’s two times better,” Bain said comparing the first days of fall camp to the spring. “I feel way better than I did in the spring – conditioning, strength playbook – everything.”
Bain spent the months before practice trying to regain some of the weight he lost while recovering from the accident. During the summer he turned his mass into muscle, returning to his target weight of 300-310 pounds.
“On a big breakfast day I’m a 310,” Bain joked.
During the spring Kiffin indicated he would consider moving Bain to the right tackle position, where he wouldn’t have to worry about protecting a quarterback’s blind side.
That move doesn’t seem to be in play anymore.
“[Offensive line coach] Garin Justice talks about this as the best he’s seen (Bain) look while he’s been here,” Kiffin said.
With Bain manning the left tackle spot, FAU spent the first couple days of camp attempting to get a handle on the right side.
JUCO transfer William Tuihalamaka played guard at San Diego St. before transferring to Moorpark College, where he moved to tackle.
The 6-5, 350-pounder who goes by “Hala” elected to travel across the country because he was sold on the people he’d be playing for.
“It’s the coaching staff – I know they want to win,” Tuihalamaka said. “I want to be on a winning program.”
Tuihalamaka and Brandon Walton have flipped between first-team right guard and first-team right tackle thus far, with coaches searching for the best fit.
The constant switching allows Walton, a sophomore, to display his versatility, too.
“Brandon Walton can play it all,” Bain said.