Football team began practice Friday morning

The Owls are looking to make a come back from last season with a few standout players.


The tight ends working on blocking drills in the first fall training camp for FAU. Photo by: Zachary Weinberger

Zachary Weinberger, Sports Editor

The FAU football team took to the practice fields Friday morning for their first fall training camp to prepare for the Aug. 31 season opener against the Ohio State Buckeyes.


While only one practice can’t predict a whole season, there were some notable standouts and storylines. Players that had a good first day included wide receiver John Mitchell, cornerback Meiko Dotson who picked off quarterback Chris Robison in drills and outside linebacker Rashad Smith. 


Obviously, guys come out with great energy, it’s the same all over the country. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do,” head coach Lane Kiffin said. “We have stressed that we need to learn from the past, but not sit and talk about the past every day, from the disappointments of last season, as you have the offseason to look at it and to discuss with the players in team meetings before practice so that they understand.”


As Lane Kiffin enters his third season as the head coach, he still has yet to make a decision on who the starting quarterback will be for the 2019 season. While Robison started all of last year, he missed spring camp because of a suspension. This gave way for Justin Agner and Nick Tronti to take more reps.


During the first day of camp, everybody got to play with the first team including Robison, but since he did miss spring camp, Agner and Tronti still lead above him. However, Robison later told the media that he treated his absence from spring as an “injury.” He mentioned that he wants to work on his timing after a 12 interception season last year. 


Senior tight end Harrison Bryant, who is entering his fourth season with the team, racked up 662 yards on 45 receptions with four touchdowns looks to continue his dominance.


Bryant mentioned wide receiver John Mitchell, who made a couple of impressive catches in practice, could make a big jump this season.


Junior Akileis Leroy, who filled in for the injured Azeez Al-Shaair at the middle linebacker position, is expected to be the starter this year. He not only expressed his excitement for the opportunity but how Al-Shaair has helped him along the way.


“It’s definitely a workload, it’s very good to be excited, especially when it comes to camp, even though it was really hot out there,” Leroy said. “It’s great playing alongside Rashad (Smith), he’s a great leader.”


Leroy mentioned that Al-Shaair is “like another brother” and that he appreciates everything he has done for him to get in the situation where he’ll be the starter at middle linebacker. He told the University Press that he still has some things to polish in his overall game, like more control and reading different plays.


Check back with the University Press for a rundown of tomorrow morning’s training camp.


Zachary Weinberger is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @ZachWeinberger.