THE LIST: FAU’s 2017 Commitments
BOCA RATON – FAU may have another entry in its quarterback battle even before the Owls name their next head football coach.
And, like Friday night’s flirtation with Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, the move stands to bring the national spotlight to Florida Atlantic.
FAU offered East Mississippi Community College’s De’Andre Johnson a scholarship during this weekend’s visit, according to a tweet by Johnson.
— Deandre Johnson (@DredaDon14) December 10, 2016
Johnson, out of Jacksonville-First Coast, originally attended Florida St. but was dismissed from the team after a video surfaced of him at a bar punching a girl who also attempted to strike him.
Tallahassee police arrested Johnson, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery.
Johnson transferred to East Mississippi, electing to sit out the 2015 season. As a 6-foot-1, 185-pound starter in 2016 Johnson threw for 2,646 yards and 26 touchdowns against only six interceptions. He also led East Mississippi in rushing with 846 yards.
The Netflix series “Last Chance U” featured Johnson during his time at East Mississippi.
FAU offensive coordinator Travis Trickett is the son of FSU offensive line coach Rick Trickett.
Johnson threw for 47 touchdowns as a senior at First Coast and ran for nine more, making him one of the most coveted quarterbacks of the 2015 signing class.
Offers from Power 5 schools no longer follow Johnson. Texas St. is reportedly the only other school showing interest.
Redshirt sophomore Jason Driskel started 11 games at quarterback for FAU last season. Redshirt freshman Daniel Parr started once and saw significant action in about half the Owls’ games. Steven Frank redshirted in his first season with the Owls.
The battle to be FAU’s starting signal caller figures to re-ignite in the spring regardless of whether Johnson elects to attend FAU.
FAU also has two quarterbacks currently committed to its 2017 recruiting class – Jack Walker out of Madison Central (Miss.) and Justice McCoy from St. Augustine (La.).
Also visiting with Johnson is a player who may become one of his protectors.
Offensive lineman Dominique Briggs from Coffeyville Community College is expected on campus this weekend. A 6-foot-3, 295-pound lineman who can play center would fill an immediate need for the Owls. Graduating senior center Dillon DeBoer played every snap for FAU this past season – most of them at center.
Should Briggs commit he would be the second JUCO offensive lineman to pledge his services to the Owls in as many weeks. Tackle Hanner Shipley, a former LSU tight end, committed to FAU last weekend.
National Signing Day for junior college players is Dec. 14.