FAU football recruit recap: John Raine

Part seven of our weekly series highlighting each of the 19 players that signed with FAU on National Signing Day

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Max Jackson

Owls head coach Charlie Partridge looks at the scoreboard Saturday in the final minutes of his team’s 33-15 loss to Buffalo on Sept. 19, 2015. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer.

Brendan Feeney, Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic incoming recruit and Westminster Christian senior tight end John Raine originally thought football wasn’t his sport.

Despite his start playing in a youth football organization — Pop Warner — Raine stopped because he thought he was a basketball player.

“I played basketball, that’s what I wanted to do,” Raine said.

He picked football back up during his junior year of high school.

Raine won his school’s basketball MVP award as well as offensive MVP in football. He believes his basketball career has helped his football.

“Basketball definitely with [my] anticipation and speed,” Raine said. “I’m definitely a mismatch when it comes to one on one,” noting that he can utilize his speed and/or his size to get open.

For that reason, Raine said his football style is reminiscent of Aaron Hernandez — emphasizing that the comparison is only accurate when talking about performance on the gridiron.

Along with basketball, Raine also played lacrosse, soccer and volleyball. He said the biggest thing he gained from playing five sports is anticipation and knowing what the opponent is going to do.

Raine’s versatility was a key factor in high school. His team had just 22 players, and seven had to play both offense and defense.

Along with playing tight end, Raine played defensive end and tallied 61 tackles during his two seasons. Even with limited players, he helped lead his team to a district title in each of the two years he played.

Raine — whose mother is Jamaican — said he gained his competitive edge from his family.

“I have a lot of family that lives in Jamaica, and a lot of fast athletes,” Raine said. “I have 20 first cousins; we always competed against each other … no one’s made a name for themselves at the D1 level like I want to do.”

Raine fielded more than a dozen scholarship offers from various schools — including from the Army, Florida International and the University of South Florida — but chose FAU because he said it felt like home when he first stepped on campus.

“[FAU] felt like home, they’re building something special and I want to become part of it,” Raine said.

“I see myself making plays as a freshman. I’m ready and I think my body is ready too. I pride myself on hard work, I just want to work hard.”

Our recruiting recap will continue on Wednesday with defensive back Da’Von Brown.

Brendan Feeney is the sports editor of the University Press. To contact him regarding this or other stories, he can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter.