After leading the FAU Owls to their first conference title in 10 years, and first ever Conference USA Championship, Jason Driskel has decided to call it a career. Driskel will graduate in May with a degree in civil engineering.
@Lane_Kiffin @kendalbriles @Coachbwright4 @CoachPartridge @CoachTTrickett - Thank you all! pic.twitter.com/8seBnrtcDI— Jason Driskel (@JDriskel16) January 18, 2018
When Jason Driskel first arrived at FAU he was known for being Jeff Driskel’s little brother. The elder Driskel was well known for his days as a quarterback at Florida and Louisiana Tech. Due to Jeff Driskel’s embattled time as the starter at UF, expectations were low for the younger Driskel.
As a redshirt freshman during the 2015 season, in which he appeared in 10 games in the place of senior Jaquez Johnson, Driskel passed for 965 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.
After watching Driskel’s uninspiring play, many fans wanted Dwyer High standout Daniel Parr to takeover as the starter the following season. Instead it was Jason Driskel trotting out as QB1 to start the 2016 season. As the starter Driskel passed for 2,415 yards with nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Owls turned in another disappointing 3-9 season in Charlie Partridge’s final year in Boca Raton.
With the surprise hire of Lane Kiffin and signing of highly touted JUCO quarterback De’Andre Johnson, the writing was on the wall for Driskel to pack his bags and leave town.
Except Driskel didn’t read it. Despite being counted out by many during spring practice, Driskel entered fall camp in the hunt to be FAU’s starting quarterback once again.
After Daniel Parr earned the nod to start the season opener against Navy, Driskel appeared destined to be an afterthought as the future of FAU football firmly belonged to Parr.
After uneven play from Parr to start the season, it was Driskel who Lane Kiffin looked to spark a sputtering passing offense. Once again, there Driskel was, leading the offense in battle despite being counted out in the preseason. In 11 games as the starter in 2017 FAU went 10-1 and shattered school records en route to the Owls' best season in school history.
Driskel passed for 2,247 yards with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions, while adding 457 rushing yards and eight scores on the ground. Driskel finishes his FAU career with 5,627 yards and 27 touchdowns, with 691 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.
Driskel leaves behind a legacy of proving doubters wrong. The college football world will mainly remember Jason Driskel as Jeff Driskel’s little brother. FAU fans will largely remember him for being the quarterback of FAU’s best team ever. But I’ll remember Jason Driskel for his perseverance.
During a time where we see many players transfer to earn more playing time, Driskel stuck it out and in the end was rewarded for having the opportunity to quarterback the best team in FAU history.
A glance at the QB depth chart in 2018
While Driskel’s departure stings from a depth standpoint, I didn’t think he would be the starter next season.
Lane Kiffin mentioned before that Driskel would have to earn the right to be the starter in 2018. With a healthy De’Andre Johnson (redshirt junior) returning as well as a former four-star recruit and Oklahoma transfer Chris Robison (redshirt sophomore) being eligible I think the Owls will be fine at quarterback.
Driskel’s best attribute last season was staying away from turnovers and being an effective runner. His biggest weakness was consistency as a passer.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that FAU’s offense might be even better with Johnson or Robison as the starter. Both are mobile enough to keep defenses honest and both have the potential to become better passers than Driskel.
Charlie Weis Jr. and Lane Kiffin have a lot of talent to work with at quarterback. Driskel’s reliability will be missed, but Robison and Johnson both have the potential to make sure FAU still has the best offense in Conference USA.