As first reported by Shane Marinelli/Rick Henderson of the FAU Owls Nest and Jake Elman of Sportscasting.com, Florida Atlantic starting quarterback Chris Robison is no longer a member of the program.
The official 2020 #FAU camp roster will be issued later today and we are hearing from multiple sources that there is HUGE change to it. The question pending is whether it permanent or not. More to come on this developing story. pic.twitter.com/eqHcVnM8o7— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) August 4, 2020
BREAKING: FAU star QB Chris Robison has been removed from the online roster. Robison started all 14 games last year and completed 61.3% of his passes for an FAU-record 3,701 yards, 28 touchdowns, and six interceptions. pic.twitter.com/1bv1Y7iz6d— Jake Elman (@JakeElman97) August 4, 2020
FAU’s 2020 online roster was unveiled shortly after 4 PM Eastern with Robison, along with redshirt freshmen defensive back De’Ante Nelson and Xavier Roberts-Donaldson being absent from the list.
An FAU spokesperson later confirmed that Robison wasn’t a member of the team.
For the redshirt junior quarterback, this ends a tumultuous two-year tenure as the starting quarterback in Boca Raton.
After being dismissed from the University of Oklahoma in August of 2017, he landed with the Owls and redshirted that season. The next year, he assumed the starting duties and threw for 2,540 yards with 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
However, he was suspended twice, the first coming at the start of 2018’s spring camp for missing a tutoring session and the next coming in the spring of 2019 while he was under investigation for sexual battery. Robison wasn’t charged with a crime and then-head coach Lane Kiffin reinstated him to the team in June of that year.
He would lead Conference USA in passing yards (3,701) in 2019, while leading FAU to an 11-3 record and their second C-USA title in three seasons.
Entering 2020, Robison was named the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Award watchlists, with expectations of being among the top returning players among the Group of Five ranks.
Now, first-year head coach Willie Taggart will presumably turn to redshirt junior Nick Troni to assume the reins as the Owls starter.
A former three-star recruit, Tronti spent one season at Indiana before transferring to Florida Atlantic in 2018, competing for the starting job in 2019, losing to Robison.
He saw action in 11 contests last season, having a specialized role as a dual-threat player.
The Ponte Verda Beach native rushed for 239 yards and two touchdowns and completed 17-of-22 passes for 180 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
With Robison’s dismissal, the top-three teams from last season (FAU, Western Kentucky, Marshall) will all turn to new signal-callers for the upcoming season.
For Taggart and the Owls, should Tronti get the nod, the FAU offense could resemble more of the “Gulf Coast Offense” Taggart ran with great success at South Florida.
Quarterback Quinton Flowers and running back Marlon Mack rushed for over 4,000 yards combined in two seasons together, with Flowers becoming one of the top run-pass threats in the nation.
Florida Atlantic returns running back Malcolm Davidson, who rushed for 711 yards on seven yards per carry, along with highly touted players Larry McCammon III and former Alabama running back BJ Emmons.