MEET THE CLASS: FAU Singee Bios
BOCA RATON – Coach Willie Taggart unabashedly admits he bought a car for a recruit who ended up signing with FAU.
A Camero, in fact.
“I bought him a car and he didn’t commit,” Taggart said jokingly about the recruitment of his son, Willie Taggart Jr. “Don’t you know anywhere else that probably was a done deal?”
Quarterback Willie Taggart Jr. made it a done deal on Wednesday’s National Signing Day, becoming the first signing FAU officially announced.
Taggart Jr. threw for more than 2,000 yards and ran for more than 1,000 as a senior at Tallahassee-University. His coach there, Tyrone McGriff, compared Taggart Jr.’s playmaking ability to that of NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.
Taggart called his son “a winner,” and shot down speculation that Taggart Jr.’s athleticism combined with undeveloped throwing mechanics could prompt a move from quarterback to some other skill position.
“I think if you asked Willie Jr. that, he’s going to tell you – kind of like Lamar Jackson told everybody else – ‘I’m a quarterback,”’ Taggart said.
FAU officially announced 19 signees and five transfers on Wednesday as part of its 2020 recruiting class. Nine of those signees inked their National Letter of Intent on Wednesday. The other 10 signed during the early signing period or enrolled for the current semester.
One of those announced Wednesday, Berrien defensive tackle Jaden Wheeler, is expected to grayshirt, arriving in January. Palmetto wide receiver Lajohntay Wester, a kick return specialist who took a total of seven kicks or punts to the end zone as a senior, is also expected to grayshirt but was not announced as part of the current class. Palmetto coach Dave Marino said Wester will enroll at FAU in the fall and join the football team as a walk-on, with his scholarship starting in January.
The Owls also appear primed to add a tight end to the class. Iowa Western CC’s Lou Dorsey announced via Twitter on Wednesday his commitment to FAU but he did not sign. Dorsey began his college career at Illinios, where he started seven games as a true freshman in 2017, catching 22 passes for 395 yards and three touchdowns.
Four of the five transfers formerly announced Wednesday are already enrolled at FAU. Former Clemson WR TJ Chase is the only transfer not currently on the Owls’ roster. Four of the five FBS transfers are wide receivers. At least two, former Duke wideout Aaron Young and Chase, will be eligible for 2020.
Taggart said receivers D’Marcus Adams (FSU) and Yanez Rogers (Cincinnati) are pursuing an NCAA waiver granting immediate eligibility, as is defensive tackle Malcolm Lamar (FSU).
Nearly all of FAU’s signees declared their destinations prior to Wednesday. Coconut Creek’s Chris Jones, a Kansas commit until last week, provided the day’s biggest moment. A rabid pass rusher, Jones is listed as a linebacker by FAU but is projected to grow into a defensive end.
“FAU is getting a steal,” Coconut Creek coach Gerald Cox said. “Out of everybody, That’s the big splash that coach Taggart talked about when he came here.”
The Owls also added another son with a famous football father, Marietta (Ga.) cornerback Peter Warrick Jr., whose dad starred as a wide receiver at Florida St. and in the NFL.
“I think Florida Atlantic is a great fit for him,” Marietta coach Rich Morgan said of Warrick. “Let’s face it, they’ve got a lot of talent and can play with anyone in the country.”
FAU’s announced class is comprised of five offensive linemen, five wide receivers, four linebackers, three defensive backs, three defensive tackles (four if Wheeler is included), two defensive ends and one quarterback.
“I think every last one of those guys are winners,” Taggart said. “They are great character kids which is really important, and they love playing the game of football,” Taggart said.
Taggart left himself enough room to add a couple of transfers should they come available.