Whyyte announced his decision via social media.
Thank you, Owl Forever👌🏾❤️ pic.twitter.com/PCjVIw7mlG
— PapaWhyte (@Kwhyte_6) December 14, 2018
The loss is yet another blow to an Owls’ offense that, at the close of the season, appeared to have the pieces to rebound from a disappointing 2018 season.
On Wednesday Singletary announced he would not return to FAU for his senior season, opting enter the NFL draft.
A few days prior Jovon Durante, FAU’s leading receiver in 2108, made the same decision.
Had Whyte elected to stay at FAU, he would have been on many people’s short list for potential Conference USA Offensive MVP honors entering the the 2019 season.
During the second half of last season Whyte emerged as a compliment to Singletary in what almost became a timeshare at running back. More of a dual threat than Singletary, Whyte rushed for 866 yards on the season, averaging a C-USA best 6.5 yards per carry, and also caught 10 passes for 160 yards.
The redshirt junior combined to score 10 touchdowns offensively, and added another on a kickoff return. The kickoff return TD was the second of his career. Whyte is the only FAU player ever to score on a kickoff return.
At the close of the season it appeared as though FAU would lose three starting offensive linemen. However, the Owls expect the NCAA to grant starting center Junior Diaz and additional year of eligibility. FAU expects to fill the void created by the loss of left tackle Reggie Bain and guard Antonio Riles with junior college signees in the coming week.
With a good senior season, Whyte could have become a more attractive player to NFL scouts than Singletary is right now. He already possesses significantly better top-end speed than Singletary and is a much better pass catcher. Another year in the FAU offseason conditioning program would also allow Whyte to enter the draft weighing more than Singletary.
By losing Whyte, Singletary and Durante early to the draft, FAU would lose 3,283 combined yards that would have been eligible to return for one more year. FAU also lost 178 rushing yards from redshirt junior quarterback De’Andre Johnson, who announced his intention to transfer in recent days.
Prior to last season record-setting quarterback Jason Driskel elected to forego his final year of eligibility to complete his degree and join the workforce.
The loss of Singletary and Whyte leaves a gaping void at running back for FAU.
Among running backs expected to return in 2019, true freshman Malcolm Davidson led all players with 34 rushing yards. James Charles recorded the most carries with three. FAU’s leading returning rusher would now be quarterback Chris Robison, who tallied 211 yards.
The Owls also expect to have Tyrek Tisdale healthy. Tisdale showed promise as a true freshman in 2017 before twice injuring his knee. He underwent knee surgery prior to the 2018 season and didn’t receive a carry this past season.
FAU also added Arkansas St. transfer Chauncey Mason, brother of former NFL running back Tre Mason, prior to the start of last season. Mason rushed for 137 yards on 5.1 yards per carry for the Red Wolves in 2017. He sat out last season in compliance with NCAA transfer rules.
The Owls have a commitment from Palm Beach Gardens-Dwyer running back James Meeks, but he isn’t expected to be a factor in 2019. Meeks suffered a knee injury late in the Panthers’ season.