Lane Kiffin and the FAU Owls have opened preseason camp this week and the first impression made was how dramatically different the roster looks.
By my count, #FAU had 35 players on its preseason camp roster that were not on its spring roster. A lot of new faces.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) July 27, 2017
Conference USA’s best recruiting class has arrived in Boca Raton but are still missing a few players from the class. While it’s not uncommon for everyone in a recruiting class to not report to fall camp, Kiffin’s recruiting approach in targeting JUCO players was bound to produce at least one player who wouldn’t make it. Kiffin signed nine JUCO prospects in February according to 247 Sports and two of them do not appear to be in the fold.
Three-star offensive lineman JUCO offensive lineman Joey Palmer wasn’t on the official roster. Neither was JUCO defensive back Rodney Washington. Isaac Readon from Booker T. Washington wasn’t on the roster either.
Given the amount of injuries FAU suffered on the offensive line last year, not having Palmer who was one of their best prospects in the 2017 class is a blow. However the Owls did receive some good news as three-star JUCO receiver De’Andre McNeal is on the official roster. Given the indefinite suspension of Kalib Woods, McNeal will have ample opportunities to solidify playing time. Kalib Woods is among at least 20 players who were on the spring roster but not on the preseason roster.
The injury bug has already claimed one of FAU’s best incoming players as defensive back Ahman Ross will take a medical redshirt after suffering an ACL injury.
Adversity builds character. I'll be back pic.twitter.com/vqWmP4UMgl— Ahman Ross™ (@ross8156) July 28, 2017
Hopefully that news isn’t a sign for another injury plagued season for FAU. The Owls will appear in some 4-2-5 defensive sets this year so Ross might have had an opportunity to see the field this season. Injuries suck, but defensive back is a pretty loaded positon for the Owls with Ocie Rose and Jalen Young headlining the secondary. Hopefully Ross suffers no setbacks in his recovery and comes back stronger in 2018.