FAU Football: Previewing the defensive backs

Five players are currently competing for starting reps.


Courtesy of 247Sports

Michal Antoine Jr. played two seasons at Iowa State before transferring to FAU.

Cameron Priester, Sports Editor

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

Defensive backs, or the secondary, consist of the cornerback and safety positions, as well as the extra defensive backs added to some formations known as the “nickel” or “star”. They are tasked with stopping the opposing offense from completing passes and being the last line of run defense.

All five players on the roster listed at the position joined the team this offseason via the transfer portal.

Juniors Zoren Tobe and Courtney Holmes both transferred to FAU in January. Tobe, who spent his first two seasons at Fort Scott Community College, saw action in seven games and had 12 total tackles as a sophomore in 2021. Holmes, also a JUCO product that transferred from Lake Erie College, collected four total tackles in the nine games he played there.

Sophomore Tyrell Jones joined the team in January after transferring from the University of Pikeville, where he had seven tackles in his freshman season. Before his time at Pikeville, Jones played at Lakeland Senior High School, where he earned academic honors and was named to the Polk County Top-50. 

Rounding out the room is freshman Daemon “Daedae” Hill and sophomore Michal Antoine Jr., both of whom joined the team in May. 

Hill, who transferred from Central Michigan University, is one of the most intriguing transfers head coach Willie Taggart has landed this offseason due to his contributions to the Chippewa defense these past two seasons. He tallied 10 total tackles during the 2020 season; in 2021, he racked up 22 total tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. 

A transfer from Iowa State, Antoine Jr. saw limited playing time in his two seasons with the Hawkeyes. He saw the field in nine games during the 2020 season, appearing primarily on special teams. In 2021, meanwhile, he played in seven games but only accounted for one tackle.

Despite consisting of new faces, the defensive back group has the talent to be one of the better units on the defense. However, their success will depend on their ability to integrate into defensive coordinator Todd Orlando’s system.

Cameron Priester is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @PriesterCameron.