In fact, the Owls’ quarterbacks will once again be the main focal point for most when players are expected to report to camp on Aug. 1.
For the third time in coach Lane Kiffin’s three-year tenure, the Owls will find themselves with a three-way battle behind center during fall camp.
Six months ago this didn’t figure to be the case. Rising redshirt sophomore Chris Robison was coming off his first season as starter. He played inconsistently during 2018, but quarterbacks often make their biggest improvement between their freshman and sophomore years.
That may not be the case for Robison, who missed every spring practice because of a suspension stemming from a night of underage drinking and drug use that resulted in a sexual battery allegation – a claim that was later dropped.
Robison has rejoined the team, but it’s unclear how high he’ll be on the depth chart to begin the fall.
Former Indiana quarterback Nick Tronti and former Kent St. quarterback Justin Agner battled for the top quarterback spot in the spring, when Robison’s availability for the 2019 season remained an uncertainty.
Both performed well at times, with Tronti appearing to have a slight edge at the end of spring. The quarterback who wins this year’s battle, earning the start against Ohio St. on Aug. 31, isn’t a lock to remain in that spot for the season.
Two years ago, Daniel Parr bested Jason Driskel and De’Andre Johnson to start the season opener only to see Driskel take over in Week 4. Robison won last year’s battle over Johnson and Rafe Peavey, who transferred to FAU from SMU shortly after the start of camp.
And for those who may not have been following OwlAccess.com as closely this summer as they should have been, former FSU quarterback Deondre Francois, who a couple of months ago announced this intention to transfer to FAU, is not expected to join the Owls – and never was.
OwlAccess.com Pre-camp FAU QB Breakdown
Chris Robison (6-1, 185, R-So.): A starter of 11 games in 2018, Robison threw for 2,540 yards and 12 touchdowns, leading an inconsistent offense. Robison is the most physically gifted quarterback in the room. He needs to show improved decision making, both on and off the field.
Nick Tronti (6-2, 190, R-So.): A former Florida Mr. Football, Tronti transferred to FAU from Indiana prior to the start of last season. The NCAA granted Tronti immediate eligibility and he actually saw the field for two snaps in the win over Bethune-Cookman, handing off both times as the Owls ran out the clock. Tronti demonstrated good command of the offense in the spring and while he isn’t the fastest runner, he displayed good mobility. Like Driskel, Tronti looks like a runner capable of breaking arm tackles to extend plays.
Justin Agner (6-2, 210, Jr.): Agner started a game against Penn St. as true freshman at Kent St. Injuries have been his biggest detriment. Agner transferred to FAU for the spring semester. He began spring clearly behind Tronti before closing the gap in the final weeks. He’s a better runner than Tronti and possesses a strong enough arm that, should he display the best command of the offense, could see him pushing for playing time.
Javion Posey (6-1, 185, Fr.): The true freshman signed with FAU during the early signing period and is already on campus participating in summer workouts. Posey is impressing teammates with his athleticism but will rapidly have to display a command of the playbook before threatening to join the starting quarterback battle.
De’Andre Johnson: A reserve who played well in spots last season, the former Last Chance U star transferred to Texas Southern.
Nick Tronti: He drew favorable comparisons to Driskel during the spring and is poised to take over the starting role should Robison falter. Tronti has all the athletic tools to be a winning Division I quarterback. Redshirt freshman Cordel Littlejohn is still refining his throwing mechanics and likely needs at least another year of seasoning before becoming a factor.