All he needed to make a leap of faith was the knowledge that, if he transferred to FAU, he’d be playing for Lane Kiffin.
“Coach Kiffin was the main reason I wanted to come here,” Peavey said. “I wanted to come play for him and learn from him.”
A former participant in the Under Armor high school All-American game, Peavey is the latest former high-profile quarterback to make his way to FAU.
His path is a little different than that of former Florida St. quarterback De’Andre Johnson and former Oklahoma signal caller Chris Robison, both of whom were dismissed from their Power 5 schools following off-the-field incidents.
Peavey’s on his third different school because he never managed to land the starting job at either Arkansas or most recently Southern Methodist.
He completed all four pass attempts for the Mustangs last season, but While participating in SMU’s first practice this fall Peavey realized he once again wouldn’t be a starting quarterback – that would go to Ben Hicks
“Made a split second decision after the first practice just to pack up my stuff and head down here,” Peavey said.
In choosing FAU, where, as a graduate transfer he is eligible to play immediately, Peavey elected to play for coaching staff he believes can maximize his dual-threat talent. Specifically, Peavey cited the way Kiffin and the staff developed a game plan around quarterback Jason Driskel last season.
“They work with what they’ve got,” Peavey said. “I think they are going to give the quarterback the opportunity to tailor the game, the play calls, to their skill set.”
After three consecutive 3-9 seasons, Kiffin turned to Driskel at quarterback last season after the Owls lost two of their first three games. Driskel dropped his first game as a starter but then led FAU to 10 consecutive victories, their first Conference USA title and a Boca Raton Bowl title.
“It shows how great of a coach he is,” Peavey said. “How he can come in here and flip the program around like that is pretty impressive.”
Peavey completed his third practice as an Owl on Friday and will see time in Saturday’s scrimmage – the first of fall camp for FAU. He, Johnson and Robison all take turns with the first string offense.
While he’s still working to improve his timing with a new set of receivers and mastering terminology, Peavey’s shown a good command of the field and an accurate arm during his first few days as an Owl.
“Even Day 1 he was throwing touchdowns,” said wide receiver John Mitchell, who caught one of those passes. “I was pretty surprised.”
Now in his fifth year as a college quarterback, Peavey is learning his fifth different offense. He’s currently receiving a crash course in Lane Kiffin’s offensive mind.
“There’s a lot of carry over from every single coordinator, so now it’s all in one,” Peavey said. “So it’s just kind of tracing back in my mind to several plays that I’ve seen before and just now putting new terminology to them.”
He’s been in Florida less than a week, but Peavey is already convinced he made the right choice.
“I’m loving it so far,” Peavey said. “I love this coaching staff. Just the energy on this team is so different from everywhere I’ve been. These guys have fun playing football, and that’s the way it should be.”