Florida Atlantic running back Trey Rodriguez was only able to make six appearances with the Owls at the end of last season after serving two suspensions related to team rules.
In that short time on the field, Rodriguez made a world of difference with his presence. Running for a team-leading five rushing touchdowns to go with 419 rushing yards, he became the picture of productivity within an offensive unit that lost its scoring touch at times last year.
But Rodriguez may not get a chance to build off his freshman performance. According to FAU Owl Access' Chuck King, the sophomore back could be close to losing his spot on the the team if his off-the-field actions continue to violate team rules.
The potential loss of Rodriguez should not be seen as catastrophic, but is a definite setback for the Owls. Running backs Jay Warren and Greg Howell both started for much of last season, while Marcus Clark does have experience from last year. Despite seeing most of the carries, Warren and Howell saw their numbers regress from last year and Clark only had limited opportunities at the end of the season.
From the recruiting front, both James Charles and Devin Singletary will also fight for a spot in the running back rotation when they arrive on campus in the fall.
If Rodriguez continues to have trouble with the team, head coach Charlie Partridge will lose a proven scoring threat after already graduating starting quarterback Jaquez Johnson and his top target, wide receiver Jenson Stoshak.
In a year full of questions for the Owls, losing Rodriguez could wind up hurting their offensive production.