Fourth – at best – out of five quarterbacks on the depth chart of Owls currently participating in fall camp, Wessel is nonetheless intricately involved in practice. He’ll signal plays. He’ll explain reads. He’ll teach the offense.
And every few turns, No. 19 correctly reads the defense and throws strikes to open receivers.
Wessel does want to coach. Eventually. But August isn’t the time to discuss that.
He walked into an interview days before the start of camp and began speaking with the bravado and charisma of a starting college quarterback. The football world is open to him.
Wessel’s happy to discuss his life plan, which almost certainly will involve coaching. He’d prefer, however, to converse about his role as a quarterback.
“I will always be looking at the right spots,” said Wessel with a confidence devoid of cockiness. “I might not be physically the fastest, the strongest, but my arm strength has gotten a lot better. I know where to put the ball. And I know how to break down coverages.”
Wessel always mastered the mental part of the game. When he didn’t quite have the physical tools to garner an FBS scholarship offer after two years starting at state powerhouse Tampa-Jesuit, he elected to attend prep school at Fork Union Military Academy.
Winning seven of his eight starts there didn’t bring a scholarship offer either, but a young offensive coordinator who tried to lure Wessel to Samford the year prior offered Wessel a walk-on spot at that coach’s new school. So Wessel followed coach Travis Tricket to FAU.
Wessel didn’t see the field in that first year, serving as the third-string quarterback for a 2016 season that ended with the firing of FAU coach Charlie Partridge. Shortly after FAU hired Lane Kiffin, and Trickett left for Georgia St.
Uncertain whether he wanted to play for Kiffin and new offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, Wessel did not attend fall camp in 2017, but did rejoin the Owls once classes began in late August.