Taking advantage of the bye week to send his assistant coaches onto the recruiting trail, coach Lane Kiffin elevated several of the graduate assistants to position coaches for a couple days.
“It’s good to see some of our young guys that can coach to be out there coaching,” Kiffin said. “That’s part of the profession – bringing those guys up. We do have a lot of young coaches on our fulltime and what we call outfield – which is good for the players. Guys like [former Tennesee running back] Montario Hardesty, people like that who have played the game that guys can talk to.”
FAU officially lists four graduate assistants on its roster, two on defense – Rip Rowan and C.J. Johnson – and two more on offense – Chris Rutledge and Mike Nysewander, who also doubles as a special teams assistant.
The Owls also list a variety of offensive and defensive analysts. The above photo gallery is heavy on graduate assistants and team managers performing their duties on Wednesday.
Kiffin, offensive coordinator Kendal Briles and co-defensive coordinators Chris Kiffin and Corey Batoon were the only primary staff members present for Wednesday’s practice.
FAU enjoyed a spirited practice on Wednesday. Defensively, cornerback Shelton Lewis delivered the biggest play of the morning, leaping in front of wide receiver DeAndre McNeal to snare an underthrown deep pass.
The Owls currently rank second nationally with 10 interceptions.
“Our coach just tells us, Hey, don’t talk about it, be about it,” cornerback Raekwon Williams said. “Let’s put it on tape so everyone can see it.”
On the offensive side, little-used reserve running back Gerald Hearns broke free in the secondary, then initiated a series of Devin Singletary-type fakes and cuts, producing extra yardage while drawing howls from the offensive sideline.
“I was happy to see him put it on tape,” Singletary said.