New FAU head coach Lane Kiffin signed the best recruiting class in Conference USA, bringing in a conference-high 17 three-star prospects. We will take a look at the new roster and do a position-by-position breakdown of what the roster looks like going into Spring camp.
Returning contributors: Jason Driskel (JR), 200-327, 2415 yards with 9 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Daniel Parr (SO), 15-36, 106 yards, 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
Incoming recruits: De’Andre Johnson (3 Star JUCO)
What we know: The quarterback play last year was average at best. Jason Driskel’s inability to pass the ball vertically down the field on a consistent basis forced Travis Trickett to call quick screens, quick slants, and just about every other quick routes known to man.
Any explosiveness from the passing attack either came from a receiver breaking a tackle and sprinting down the field or through a play action pass due to the effectiveness of Greg “Buddy” Howell and Devin Singletary.
Driskel had his moments but was mainly woeful. The FAU faithful clamored for Daniel Parr numerous time during the 2016 season but we should have known that if he wasn’t capable of beating out Driskel then something was amiss. In spot series when the game was in doubt Parr was very erratic and frequently at times careless with the ball.
Often it appeared the game was moving too fast for him. Partridge hinted at Parr’s struggle to become a consistent passer and decision maker in practice and we got to see that in live action last year.
Under Partridge Daniel Parr was supposed to be the quarterback of the future, but given what we have seen from him, the influx of quarterbacks on the roster, and the fact that Partridge is no longer the head coach, that remains very much in doubt.
FAU has brought in former Florida State quarterback De’Andre Johnson to challenge for the job and given his ability to pass and run the ball effectively he will be the main challenger to Driskel and Parr.
Former three star quarterback Steven Frank redshirted as a freshman last year and also figures to be in the picture as the new coaching staff will give this roster a clean slate to make impressions.
Final thought: Athletic Director Pat Chun and FAU President John Kelly brought in Johnson before they hired Lane Kiffin. That should tell you all you need to know about the quarterback position battle.
De’Andre Johnson’s skill set is a perfect for an offense coached by Lane Kiffin and Kendal Briles. The job is his to lose.
Position grade: C+. We still don’t know how Johnson looks in an FAU uniform but given his pedigree in the JUCO ranks and his potential he bumps this up to a full letter grade. Driskel and Parr’s experience last season is a positive going into 2017 should either one not be the starter and become a backup.