FAU Football: Previewing the safeties

Eight players are fighting for starting spots in this position.


Eston Parker III

University Press stock photo of safety Teja Young.

Trey Avant, Staff Writer

With the Owls’ season-opener being less than three months away, the UP will evaluate each position group on the roster. Today, we will look at the safeties.

Safeties are the last line of defense and primarily cover the middle of the field. They are also expected to be powerful and reliable tacklers. 

The departures of Jordan Helm and Ahman Ross open up a massive hole in the backend of FAU’s defense. 

Helm, especially, is a tremendous loss as he led the team with 95 total tackles (51 solo) to go along with six passes defended, one interception, and four fumbles recovered last season. He was also named to Pro Football Focus’ All-Conference USA third-team and was a C-USA Honorable Mention in his senior year.

Replacing the production of Helm and Ross will not be easy, but luckily for the Owls, they have a promising group of safeties that can fill that hole admirably. 

Junior Teja Young continues his role as one of the top players on the team and leader of the defense. Last season, Young had the best season of his career, finishing with 58 total tackles (24 solo), five passes defended, three interceptions, two touchdowns, and one forced fumble.

Young was named to Pro Football Focus’ All-Conference USA first-team and C-USA Honorable Mention for his efforts. He was also named C-USA Honorable Mention in 2020 as well.

Starting opposite of Young will presumably be junior safety Armani-Eli Adams. Adams came off a career year in 2021 and looks to pick up where he left off. He finished his sophomore season with 27 total tackles (15 solo) and one sack. 

The Owls have nice depth behind Young and Adams with sophomores Dwight Toombs II and Carter Odell, who have played in 36 games so far. 

Junior Kaelen Skipper and freshman Ja’Marquis Johnson round out the safety group and will likely play most of their snaps on special teams. 

Young solidified his spot as the starting safety after his performance last season and Adams will fill in the role left open by the departure of Ross. Toombs II and Odell are also good depth pieces that will play a ton of snaps when called upon. 

Trey Avant is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @TreyAvant3.