Taggart’s ability to connect with one of the top offensive linemen available brought the Owls his second commit.
Both commits are junior college players. Both should make an instant impact. Both intend to sign on Wednesday, when the NCAA’s early signing period opens.
In the case of East Central CC’s Alvin Dempsey, Taggart closed a deal Lane Kiffin’s staff had been working on for months.
“I met him for the first time this weekend but I knew of him,” Dempsey said of Taggart. “I learned that he’s a great guy. He wants us to succeed in life.”
Earlier in the week Dempsey had committed to North Texas. Taggart changed Dempsey’s mind.
Copiah-Lincoln tackle Sebestien Dolcine had committed to Mississippi St. and began his career at Kentucky before spurning late pushes from Miami and UCF to commit to FAU.
“I’m coming in to be the man,” said Dolcine, a Miramar native. “I’m at home. I’m able to focus more. I’m able to help out my family.”
Saturday’s Boca Raton Bowl will be starting left tackle Brandon Walton’s final game as an Owl. Dolcine, who intends to enroll at FAU in January, says he’s no longer lusting for the prestige associated with playing for a larger program.
“I’m not worried about it because I already went through all the flashy stuff,” Dolcine said.
In Dolcine, FAU will be getting a 6-foot-3, 295-pound offensive lineman who’s athletic enough to move with the smaller defensive ends found in Conference USA.
Dempsey is a 6-foot-1, 300-pound big play waiting to happen. Dempsey made a living at East Central stopping the run, but he also intercepted two passes last season, returning one 80 yards.
“One of his attributes, he has a knack for making big plays at the right time,” East Central defensive line coach Rudy Griffin said. “I called him a production stacker
Dempsey and Dolcine are two of nine players currently expected to sign with the Owls on Wednesday. As of Monday night they are believed to be the only two junior college players of that group.
Miami-Killian running back Frank Gore Jr. recently visited Southern Miss before visiting FAU this past weekend. Killian coach Derrick Gibson said Gore will choose between FAU, Southern Miss and “two dark horses.” The loss of running backs coach Kevin Smith, who left FAU to join Kiffin at Mississippi, prompted Gore to reconsider signing with the Owls.
Should Gore choose the Owls, he’ll enroll in January. Gore’s choice of school, however, may not be revealed until a Killian ceremony on Thursday.
Miami-Columbus center Andre Lamas is a former line mate of current FAU offensive lineman Federico Maranges. Though Taggart promised at Thursday’s introductory press conference to mine South Florida’s fertile recruiting ground, Lamas and Gore are the lone expected early high school signees from Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade counties.
Located, essentially, in the everglades, Immokalee’s proximity is close to Taggart’s primary focus. Charles Toombs is a defensive back from Immokalee who committed to FAU under Kiffin but didn’t make an official visit until this weekend. His coaches say Toombs liked what he heard from Taggart. He’ll sign on Wednesday.
Three Georgia high school players – Sprayberry DE Marlon Krakue, New Hampstead WR Justin McKithen and Carrollton DE Travis Lockhart – expect to sign on Wednesday.
And Monday evening Center Point (Ala.) DE DeCarius Hawthorne learned he’d be signing with the Owls on Monday as well.
Two other FAU commits, Zephyrhills Christian OL/DL Malik Jones and Robert E. Lee (Ala.) S Kendrick Simpkins, say they will wait until February’s National Signing Day and sign alongside their teammates.
Southfield (Mich) QB Anthony Romphf, a long-time commit who visited FAU this weekend after announcing the re-opening of his recruitment earlier in the week, sounded non-committal when reached by telephone.