BOCA RATON – FAU’s spring quarterback battle grew more complicated by subtraction.
Returning starter Chris Robison will not participate in spring practices because of an “internal issue,” according to coach Lane Kiffin. That leaves Indiana transfer Nick Tronti, redshirt freshman Cordel Littlejohn and JUCO transfer Justin Agner, who began his career at Kent St., to handle most of the passing duties.
“We’re always trying to help kids grow and mature, and hold kids to a high standard,” Kiffin said.
This isn’t the first time Robison has been disciplined.
Robison missed last year’s first spring practice as punishment for a violation of team rules. He returned the next day, however, and eventually outgunned De’Andre Johnson and late addition Rafe Peavey for the Owls’ starting gig.
In his 12 starts, Robison completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,504 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also threw 12 interceptions in the up-and-down freshman season.
Before arriving to FAU in 2017, Robison was dismissed from Oklahoma following his arrest for public intoxication.
With Robison’s departure, Littlejohn is the only scholarship quarterback in camp. But Kiffin said having talented walk-ons in Tronti and Agner lightened that otherwise perilous scenario.
“Sometimes you got to build around the scholarship limitations at certain positions,” Kiffin said. “And fortunately we’ve done that there or else we’d really be in a rough situation.”
Tronti transferred to FAU from Indiana last season after winning Florida’s 2016 Mr. Football award. He appeared in mop-up duty against Bethune-Cookman last season, but didn’t throw a pass.
Even though he wasn’t much of an on-field factor in 2018, Kiffin said Tronti’s mental growth over that year will help him lead the offense going forward.
“He does prepare really well, took advantage of the time and has a good grasp,” Kiffin said.
Last season served as a development year for Littlejohn, who worked with the scout team and competed against FAU’s first-team defense.
Agner is walking on at FAU after playing sparingly in 2016 with the Golden Flashes, but he did start a game against Penn St.