Other Florida Teams
Florida Atlantic University Owl Roundup 8/8/04
By Ted Hutton
Aug 8, 2004

(sun-sentinel.com) - First practice: 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Up for grabs: With 19 of 22 starters back, there is not a whole lot of suspense. The offensive line has two openings, at center and right guard. Jarrid Smith (6 feet 2, 250 pounds), a redshirt freshman, goes into camp as the No. 1 center. Sophomores Nello Faulk (6-6, 245) and Antes Perkins (6-4, 265) will battle for the tackle spot. There is some sorting out to do in the defensive backfield among six players who have all been starters in the past. The Owls also need to find a punter and long snapper; there are no front-runners at the moment.

No worries: The defense is stacked with experienced talent and depth, and the offense is coming off its best year with nearly everyone back, so expectations are high for the team despite a big upgrade in the schedule.

On the spot: FAU's running back-by-committee has been a necessity, as no back has separated himself from the pack. It's time for senior Doug Parker, FAU's first big-name recruit, to grab the spot. After missing all of 2002, Parker seemed to be rounding into form at the end of last season, and he had a strong spring.

The buzz: There isn't a more experienced college football team in America, as the redshirt freshmen and true freshmen that formed the nucleus of the team that started play in 2001 are now seniors and four-year starters. The question is whether the experience can overcome the disparity in size and athleticism FAU faces against the six Division I-A teams it plays. The answer will come quickly, with FAU's first three games on the road against I-A opponents.

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