By Christopher Walker
I secured my visiting section ticket yesterday and my AirBnB this morning. I'm officially way too excited for this weekend jaunt to potentially upend the Hogs.
It's been four or five years since I was up in that part of the State, and then it was to officiate my best friends' wedding.
Any particular bar or spots folks have their eye on to turn into Mean Green central? I'm thinking of JBGB's, Dickson Street in general, and then visiting Crystal Bridges art museum that Sunday on my way out.
FB: 2018 Preseason Awards
July 16, 2018 A trio of standouts headline the list of 2018 preseason Conference USA Football award winners, as chosen by the league’s 14 head coaches. Florida Atlantic junior RB Devin Singletary was selected as the C-USA Offensive Player of the Year, Florida Atlantic senior LB Azeez Al-Shaair was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year, while Southern Miss senior K Parker Shaunfield earned Special Teams Player of the Year honors.
"Motor" Singletary was named C-USA Most Valuable Player last season after scoring a nation-leading 32 rushing touchdowns last season (nine more than any other player) and 33 total TDs (five more than any other player). He scored more rushing touchdowns last year (32) than previous school career record-holder Alfred Morris had in four years from 2008-11 (27). Singletary also topped 100 yards in each of the final 11 games of the season for the Owls. Both the rushing TD’s and total TD’s are new C-USA records in those categories, breaking records held by UCF RB Kevin Smith, now his running backs coach. Singletary finished fifth nationally with 1,920 rushing yards and FAU was sixth nationally in rushing at 285.9 yards per game.
Al-Shaair was a first team All-Conference USA selection in 2017 after he set a new Florida Atlantic single-season record with 147 tackles. He posted nine games with double-digit stops and also helped the defense with 11 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, four passes defended and one forced fumble. Al-Shaair already holds the schools’ career tackles mark with 354.
Shaunfield converted the first 89 extra-point attempts to start his career (a school record) and is now 104-for-106 all-time as a Golden Eagle. The first team All-C-USA performer converted 17-of-20 field goals last season, including 15 in a row at one point. Shaunfield was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award in 2017.
Defending conference champion Florida Atlantic had the most overall preseason selections with six, while Marshall produced five and Louisiana Tech and Middle Tennessee each had players comprising four spots. Eight schools had multiple players named to the squad.
The league’s 23rd football season begins on Thursday, August 30. The 14th annual Conference USA Football Championship Game, pitting the champions of the East and West Divisions, will be held Saturday, Dec. 1.
The C-USA Media Poll (Predicted Order of Finish) will be released on Tuesday.
2018 C-USA FOOTBALL COACHES PRESEASON AWARDS
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Devin Singletary, Jr., RB, Florida Atlantic
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Azeez Al-Shaair, Sr., LB, Florida Atlantic
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Parker Shaunfield, Sr., K, Southern Miss
QB Mason Fine, Jr., North Texas
QB Brent Stockstill, Sr., Middle Tennessee
RB Spencer Brown, So., UAB
RB Devin Singletary, Jr., Florida Atlantic
OL Reggie Bain, Sr., Florida Atlantic
OL Chandler Brewer, Sr., Middle Tennessee
OL Jordan Budwig, Sr., FIU
OL Levi Brown, Jr., Marshall
OL O’Shea Dugas, Sr., Louisiana Tech
TE Harrison Bryant, Jr., Florida Atlantic
WR Tyre Brady, Sr., Marshall
WR Jalen Guyton, Sr., North Texas
WR Ty Lee, Jr., Middle Tennessee
WR Teddy Veal, Sr., Louisiana Tech
DL Jaylon Ferguson, So., Louisiana Tech
DL Fermin Silva, Sr., FIU
DL Kevin Strong, Jr., Sr., UTSA
DL Oshane Ximines, Jr., Old Dominion
LB Azeez Al-Shaair, Sr., Florida Atlantic
LB Khalil Brooks, Jr., Middle Tennessee
LB Chase Hancock, Sr., Marshall
LB Josiah Tauaefa, Jr., UTSA
DB Ben DeLuca, Jr., Charlotte
DB Malik Gant, Jr., Marshall
DB Shelton Lewis, Sr., Florida Atlantic
DB Amik Robertson, So., Louisiana Tech
DB Jalen Young, Sr., Florida Atlantic
K Parker Shaunfield, Sr., Southern Miss
P Jack Fox, Sr., Rice
KR Isaiah Harper, Sr., Old Dominion
PR Darrell Brown, Jr., Old Dominion
LS Matt Beardall, Jr., Marshall
HUNTINGTON - On paper, it appears that Florida Atlantic should run through Conference USA in 2018.
It isn't an unfounded thought, considering the Owls' tightest football game the last three months of the season was a 30-25 home win over Marshall in which the Owls used their defense to force turnovers and keep the Thundering Herd at arm's length, leading for two scores for much of the contest with the Herd battling to get back in it.
For all intents, THAT was a young Florida Atlantic team.
Young talent, new coaching staff, new schemes.
Now, head coach Lane Kiffin has expectations in his second year, and many of those are on the national level, not just Conference USA.
There are reasons for that. FAU returns third-team All-American Devin Singletary at running back and 10 defensive starters from a unit that gave up yardage but forced many turnovers to negate the yards allowed.
However, the supposed walk through Conference USA will not be an easy trek for the Owls, given some of the things they will have to endure in the 2018 campaign.
read more: http://www.williamsondailynews.com/sports/loaded-fau-will-be-aiming-for-a-repeat/article_809cdb96-a9b9-592d-9e9f-4226d923f17b.html