FAU Football: Owls conclude second week of fall training camp

The team held its first practice in full pads on Tuesday.


Courtesy of FAU Athletics

Inside linebacker Jamie Pettway.

Cameron Priester, Sports Editor

The Owls concluded their first practice in full pads on Tuesday, as they finished their second week of fall training camp heading into the 2022 season.

This week’s practice was good for getting some young guys reps. I’ve been surprised by some of the guys that have stepped up and made some plays and I’m big on consistency. We’re talking about being consistent in what we’re doing,” said head coach Willie Taggart on the second week of camp.

When speaking to the media, offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon expressed that while the offense is continuing to improve throughout camp thus far, there is still work to be done. 

There’s a little bit [to] install still, but right now, it’s more polished,” Dearmon said. “You want guys to be crisper than they were in the spring. You want guys to communicate better than they were in the spring. So we’ve tried to really slow it down and let those guys come back for a second time doing what we did in spring ball, getting really good at it.”

The offense had nothing but praise for Dearmon and his ability to simplify the offense, especially from junior running back Larry McCammon III.

“He’s a good dude and an offensive guru, so we put our trust in him. He’s going to put us in the right positions to make plays,” said McCammon III. 

Sophomore quarterback Willie Taggart Jr. even attributed Dearmon’s simplification of the offense to his time as a teacher. 

“Nothing in the offense particularly, just the way [Dearmon] teaches. He simplifies it,” Taggart Jr. said regarding his play improving under the new system. “He was a geometry teacher once, so he’s just teaching us like a real teacher in the classroom. We’re sitting there taking notes and it’s just like another day in school. It makes it easy to learn.”

Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando also expressed his satisfaction with the strides the defense has made during the off-season, which he credited to their time training with head strength and conditioning coach Joey Guarascio.

“[Joey] has done a great job with our guys,” said Orlando. There’s a noticeable difference in the way that we’re running and the power that we have. We’re starting to see some guys get back into the fold.”

While Orlando was happy with what the defense has shown him through the first several practices, he was more impressed with the chemistry they’re building off the field. 

“The thing I’m proud about is every day so far, we’ve been united. We’ve been talking about that like crazy. We’re going to work for each other, run the ball for each other, and it’s been consistent, so I’m really happy with that,” Orlando said.

Both Orlando and redshirt sophomore inside linebacker Jamie Pettway attributed the defense’s unity to a team-building exercise the defense has been doing every day. 

“We ask them, ‘who’s the most influential person in your life’, ‘what is the best moment of their life’, and ‘what was the hardest thing they ever had to go through and how did they get through it? We ask those three questions to them, and they have to answer it in front of the whole unit, said Orlando. 

“And most of the guys, that last question when they ask, ‘how did you get through it?’ it’s because of football,” said Pettway. “We’re trying to use that [to] motivate each other and that we have each other and it’s a brotherhood and you can come to any of us at any time.”

The Owls begin the season hosting the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

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