Pro Owls 2015

A look at which current pro athletes and coaches used to attend FAU.

Brendon+Sanger+was+drafted+by+the+Los+Angeles+Angels+in+this+year%E2%80%99s+MLB+draft.+He+currently+plays+minor+league+baseball+with+the+Orem+Owlz+at+the+Rookie+league+level.+Photo+by+Michelle+Friswell%0A
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Pro Owls 2015

Brendon Sanger was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in this year’s MLB draft. He currently plays minor league baseball with the Orem Owlz at the Rookie league level. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Brendon Sanger was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in this year’s MLB draft. He currently plays minor league baseball with the Orem Owlz at the Rookie league level. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Michelle Friswell

Brendon Sanger was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in this year’s MLB draft. He currently plays minor league baseball with the Orem Owlz at the Rookie league level. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Michelle Friswell

Michelle Friswell

Brendon Sanger was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in this year’s MLB draft. He currently plays minor league baseball with the Orem Owlz at the Rookie league level. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Ryan Lynch, Sports Editor

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Every year, Florida Atlantic players and coaches find their way to professional teams in leagues across the United States and around the world.

To give you a better idea of what FAU Athletics has produced over the years, the UP has compiled a list of current players active in professional sports leagues. While some are familiar faces from campus and others are distant memories, all have shown they have what it takes to make it as professional athletes.

Baseball:

From this past season’s team, the Owls had six players taken in the 2015 MLB Draft.

Outfielder Brendon Sanger (Los Angeles Angels), outfielder Billy Endris (Kansas City Royals), pitcher Drew Jackson(San Francisco Giants), outfielder Roman Collins( Kansas City), pitcher Seth McGarry (Pittsburgh Pirates) and pitcher Kyle Miller (Chicago Cubs) all heard their names called.

Sanger, Collins and McGarry have already been assigned to minor league teams in their respective organisations.

Meanwhile Miller, Jackson and Endris have yet to sign or be assigned to a minor league squad.They have until July 17 to sign with their teams. Miller would be the only one of the three eligible to return, since he has two years of eligibility remaining.

Not to be forgotten is pitcher Bo Logan, who signed with the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the independent minor league American Association.

Two former Owls were in the big leagues to start the year. Pitcher Jeff Beliveau made five appearances out of the bullpen for the Tampa Bay Rays before ending his season with a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder. Beliveau has spent the past few years bouncing between the majors and minors.

The other man to find his way to the big show was pitcher R.J. Alvarez. Alvarez came to the Oakland Athletics in an off season trade with the San Diego Padres, with whom Alvarez first made it to the big leagues.

He is currently on the triple-A Nashville Sounds, but is on the Padres’ 40-man roster. Expect the young hurler to be called up again soon, as the A’s have needed all the help they can get in the bullpen due to injury and inconsistent play.

In a surprise move, San Diego Padres’ minor league coach and FAU alumni Pat Murphy was named interim manager of the team after Bud Black was fired on June 15. Murphy has coached in both the college and professional ranks, and the position is his first in the majors.

More Owls in the minor/international leagues:

(Bracketed text is MLB/ international organization that currently holds player’s rights)

Pitcher Kevin Alexander (St Louis Cardinals)

Pitcher Michael Crotta (Nippon Hokkaido Ham Fighters, Japan) Made 15 appearances with Pittsburgh in 2011.

Pitcher Ryan Garton (Tampa Bay Rays)

Pitcher Austin Gomber (St. Louis)

Pitcher Jake Meiers (Joplin Blasters- American Association)

Pitcher Mickey Storey (Somerset Patriots- Atlantic League) Had 29 appearances with the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays from 2012-13.

Shortstop/Second Baseman Mitch Morales (San Diego Padres)

Outfielder/first baseman Mark Nelson (San Francisco)

Pitcher Jeremy Strawn (Sioux Falls Canaries – American Association)

Pitcher Kevin Perez (Washington)

Pitcher Michael Crotta (Nippon Hokkaido Ham Fighters, Japan)

Football:
 Lucky Whitehead is currently trying to break in with the Dallas Cowboys. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Lucky Whitehead is currently trying to break in with the Dallas Cowboys. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Owl football has long been a source of talent in both the National and Canadian football leagues.

Running back Alfred Morris is the most successful player to make the jump to the NFL from Boca Raton. With three straight 1,000 yard rushing seasons and Pro Bowl appearances in the last two years, Morris has established himself as one of the star offensive players in the league.

Other players who are in the league right now include linebacker Randell Johnson (Buffalo Bills), tight end Rob Housler (Cleveland Browns), cornerback Keith Reaser (San Francisco 49ers) and linebacker Adarius Glanton (Carolina Panthers).

D’Joun Smith was the only player drafted from last season’s team. Taken with the 65th overall pick in this year’s draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Smith was the highest drafted player in school history.

But Smith is not the only one from last year attempting to make the pros.The trio of wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (Dallas Cowboys), safety Damian Parms (Atlanta Falcons) and linebacker Andrae Kirk (Arizona Cardinals) are trying to make their respective team’s regular season rosters as undrafted free agents. It remains to be seen if they will still be on roster following training camp.

In Canada, defensive lineman Martin Wright is currently on roster for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, while linebacker David Hinds is on the Ottawa RedBlacks. The Canadian season is starting up again, so there is potential for more Owls to get signed.

Basketball:

FAU has never had a player reach the NBA, nor have they ever had a player taken in the draft. But, a few Owls are currently playing overseas.

Guards Greg Gantt (Palencia) and Pablo Bertone (Palma) both play in the same league in Spain—LEB Gold—on opposite teams, which led to an encounter between the two during the 2014-15 season. Gantt is FAU Basketball’s all-time leading scorer with 1,972 points, while Bertone is eighth, with 1,123.

Other Owls players around the Globe:

Guard Deandre Rice (Al-Alhi, Saudi Arabia)

Forward Jeffrey Parmer (Shiga Lake Stars, Japan)

Forward Michael Bell (Trepca, Kosovo)

Guard Paul Graham (Pirates de Quebradillas, Puerto Rico)

Forward Jordan McCoy (Shonkhoruud, Mongolia)

Center Dragan Sekelja (Albacete Basket, Spain-EBA)

Forward Chenise Miller is the only women’s player currently on a professional roster, playing in the Liga Feminina Two, with Ciudad De La Adelantanos in Spain.

Other Sports:

In Soccer, Darnell King and Rhonda Jones are the two current Owls’ representatives. King currently plays with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League, while Jones plays for Glasgow City in her native Scotland.

The golf world has quite a few of FAU’s former team members, both male and female. Ben Silverman plays on the Mackenzie tour (PGA’s Canada branch), while Jessica Carafiello is also in Canada on the CN Women’s Tour.

Other Pro Golfers who came from Florida Atlantic:

Steve LeBrun (web.com tour)

Praewnapa Phol-Uayporn (Thai LPGA tour)

Kelly McHugh  (Multiple events)

Carl McCauley (Minor League Golf Tour)

If we missed someone, let us know on Twitter at @UnivPressSports or send an email to [email protected]