FAU Football: Takeaways from 2022 C-USA Media Day

Head coach Willie Taggart expressed excitement about the 2022 football season due to the progress he and the team made since the end of last season.


Eston Parker III

University Press stock photo of head coach Willie Taggart.

Maddox Greenberg, Contributing Writer

In Arlington, Texas, FAU football head coach Willie Taggart, quarterback N’Kosi Perry, and safety Teja Young discussed their expectations about the upcoming football season at Conference USA Media Day on Wednesday afternoon.

A common word Taggart expressed about the season was “excited” due to the progress he and the team made since the end of last season.

“We finally had a really true offseason to be able to go out and recruit the guys we want here,” Taggart said. 

FAU is competing in its 21st football season in program history, with Taggart leading the coaching staff in his third year.  Taggart is 10-11 with the Owls, just below the .500 mark. 

Another thing Taggart is excited for this season is seeing his improved team. 

“They got stronger. They got faster…you see them around the office a lot more now and seeing their bodies change to us having a chance to be around them a lot more and do some things,” he said.

Taggart highly believes in his new offensive coordinator, Brent Dearmon, who held the same position last season at Middle Tennessee. 

“[Dearmon’s] a good teacher and he’s doing a good job with our guys getting this offensive staff first and foremost to be on the same page and getting our offensive players to get on the same page,” Taggart said.

Another thing that has also improved this offseason was the offensive and defensive line. 

“We have some athletic depth now, competitive depth, on both sides of the ball,” replied Taggart. 

Taggart also gave high praise to defensive line coach Kevin Patrick. Taggart told a story about a recent time when he, Patrick, and the entire FAU team went out to dinner and Patrick told Taggart, “Coach, my D-line finally looks like a D-line.”

Leadership is a very important quality for a team, especially in football. Taggart looks for leadership in his team, and he believes that more and more players are becoming leaders, especially from Young, who arrived around the same time Taggart did at FAU.

“We need a leader to show guys the right way to do [plays] and show guys how to do things,” said Young, who went on to say he shows the newer guys footwork and becoming a leader on the field. 

Young believes this FAU defense will do well in the season opener against the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers on Aug. 27. 

“Having a stout D-line and helping stop the run, you can focus on the things on the back end that we have the control [over], like keeping on top of the defense,” Young said.

Perry will be the leader of the offense for the 2022 campaign. He is entering his sixth year playing college football and is dealing with his third offensive coordinator in a row, however, Perry said he loves the new system Dearmon created. 

Perry intends to take his leadership seriously heading into his second year with the Owls.

“You have to be laser focused from start to finish, day in and day out. You have to make sure you are coming in early and staying late,” Perry said.

Taggart sounded off C-USA Media Day by saying he expects this team to “win big and have fun doing it” and “giving our fans and our alums something to be proud of.”

Maddox Greenberg is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM via Facebook @maddox greenberg