FAU Football: Tom Herman introduces Owls’ 2023 recruiting class

Just over one month after he was announced as head coach, Tom Herman introduced the newest Owls’ 2023 recruiting class.


Nicholas Windfelder

Head coach Tom Herman, pictured on the left, speaking at FAU’s National Signing Day celebration on Feb. 1, 2023.

Maddox Greenberg, Business Manager

As National Signing Day took place last Wednesday, head coach Tom Herman’s first official recruiting class at Florida Atlantic University, the Class of 2023, is primarily finalized. 

“We are the front porch to our university,” said Herman. “We are a representation of our student body as a college football team. We want to represent our student body and alumni with class, dignity and winning games.”

According to On3 Sports, a collegiate sport data website that tracks sports news and analysis, FAU’s 2023 recruiting class is ranked 80th in the nation and seventh in the American Athletic Conference (AAC). 

Though much of the class was set after the early signing period last December, the Owls added three new recruits. 

Here’s a look at the Owls’ entire 2023 recruiting class, as it currently stands:

Defensive Linemen

Kiemar Richardson

Richardson is a 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive lineman from Arcadia, Fla. He attended DeSoto High School and went to Georgia Military College before transferring  to FAU on Dec. 21, 2022. Richardson will be looking to help replace the production of defensive end Jaylen Joyner, who entered the transfer portal.

Richard Thomas

A member of the Class of 2022, Thomas is another one of several players signed from the transfer portal. Thomas comes from Indiana University, where he played for one year after  attending American Heritage Plantation High School in Plantation, Fla. The 6-foot-2, 245-pound tackle was ranked 55th in the nation at his position in the Class of 2022. Thomas, who will have four years of eligibility left, entered the portal on Dec. 6, 2022, and committed to FAU on Jan. 16, 2023.


Ja’Corey Hammett

Hammett is 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, and was the 69th ranked linebacker in the nation in the Class of 2021. Hammett played for West Virginia University and Garden City Community College, after playing high school football at Miami Northwestern High School in Miami, Fla. Herman added how Hammett may be one of his favorite players in this class. 

Curtis Roberts

Coming out of Clearwater Central Catholic High School, Roberts chose FAU over multiple Power-5 schools the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Michigan State University. Roberts is 6-foot-4, 195-pounds, and is the 181st ranked linebacker in the Class of 2023. 

Offensive Linemen

Ovie Dubre

Providing more assistance at the front lines of the offense, Dubre brings size and height. He is 6-foot-4, weighing 330 pounds, and  played at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga. Dubre, who’s ranked the 131st prospect in the state of Georgia by On3 Sports, chose FAU over Grambling State University.

Wallace Unamba 

A transfer from Kilgore Community College, Unamba also brings size and height to the offensive line for FAU. He is 6-foot-6, 332 pounds, and was the 57th ranked prospect in the nation and 12th ranked offensive lineman coming out of high school. Hecommitted on Dec. 20, 2022, and signed his letter of intent the next day.

Woody Jean

 After playing one year at Arizona University, Jean is returning home to play at FAU. Jean played high school football at Deerfield Beach High School in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Jean is 119th ranked in the nation at offensive lineman. He entered the transfer portal on Dec. 6, 2022 and transferred to FAU on Jan. 18, 2023.

Chrisdasson Saint-Jean

Saint-Jean committed to FAU on Monday night after holding offers from the University of Colorado and West Virginia University. He is 6-foot-7, 310-pounds, and is the 90th ranked offensive tackle in the Class of 2023.

Jordan Church

As the 123rd ranked offensive lineman in the nation, Church chose FAU over Louisville University, Florida State University (FSU), and Tennessee University, and more. Church comes from IMG Academy, one of the most highly-recruited high school football programs in the nation. The 6-foot-4, 325-pounds, was committed to Louisville twice before signing with FAU last December.

Brendan Chavarria

Chavarria is a 6-foot-4, 285-pounds, offensive lineman from Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda, Fla. Chavarria is ranked 223rd prospect in the state of Florida and the 145th ranked offensive lineman in the country. 

Joey Colosi

Colosi hails from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he attended American Heritage High School. He comes in at 5-foot-11, 270-pounds, and is the 201st ranked offensive lineman in the nation in the Class of 2023.


Darius McClendon

Originally enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University as a member of the Class of 2019, McClendon is a 6-foot-1, 168-pound safety that has earned respect fromHerman because of his speed and length. McClendon played at Forest Hill High School in Boynton Beach, Fla., and attended New Mexico Military Institute before transferring to Middle Tennessee. 

Antonio Smith

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound safety chose FAU over in-state rival Florida International University (FIU), Temple University, and others. Smith is coming from Gulliver Prep High School in Miami, Fla., and is ranked 126th in the nation at the safety position. 

Fabian Scott

The 6-foot-3, 169-pound, safety committed to FAU over bitter rival Florida International. Scott is from Miami, Fla., and played at Booker T. Washington High School. Scott is ranked at 162nd in the nation at safety in this year’s class.


Chris Tooley

Tooley is ranked the 160th cornerback in the nation, coming from Jones High School in Orlando, Fla. Coming in at 6-foot, 160-pounds, Tooley also has experience playing quarterback. Tooley held offers from the University of Illinois and the University of South Florida (USF), but committed to FAU on Oct. 8, 2022, and signed his letter of intent on Dec. 21, 2022.

Jarron Morris

Morris is another transfer coming to Boca Raton, who played at Texas State University. Morris played at West Orange Stark High School in Orange, Texas, and was ranked 215th at the cornerback position in the nation in the Class of  2018. Morris is 5-foot-8, 160 pounds, and has already played 47 collegiate games, so he will bring a veteran presence to the secondary.


Nick Salmon

Salmon hails from Melbourne, Australia, and according to Herman, punters from Australia are “built different.” Salmon has never played American football before, but ast 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, player he will be one of two punters on the roster.

Tight Ends

Zeke Moore

Moore hails from Roswell, Ga. The 6-foot-3, 240-pounds, tight end had interest from several schools and took an unofficial visit to University of South Carolina last April before committing to FAU later in June. Moore is 98th ranked in the tight end in the nation.

Fin Jones

With a similar build to Moore, Jones comes in at 6-foot-6 and 235-pounds. He played at Venice High School in Venice, Fla., and had interest from several Division 1 schools including FIU and Coastal Carolina University. He is ranked  109th tight end in the Class of 2023, took unofficial visits at USF and FSU, but committed to FAU last June and signed his letter of intent on Dec. 21, 2022. 

Jackson Sumlin

The third of three tight ends in the class, Sumlin is the son of former Temple University head coach and current United State Football league head coach, Kevin Sumlin. The 6-foot-2 and 220-pounds tight end played at the University of Oklahoma before transferring to FAU.

Running Backs

Kobe Lewis

After playing for two other programs before FAU, Lewis brings experience at the running back position. He is 5-foot-11 and 220-pounds. After entering the transfer portal last December, and committing shortly after on Jan. 18, 2022. Lewis will join the running back room with junior Larry McCammon who’s coming off of a career-year.

Xavier Terrell

Despite not starting for St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Terrell  held multiple Division 1 football offers coming out of high school. Terrell chose FAU over the likes of the University of Kansas, University of Pittsburgh, USF, and Georgia Tech University. The 5-foot-8, 175-pounds, player is ranked 93rd running back in the nation, committed to FAU on June 25, 2022, and signed his letter of intent on Dec. 21, 2022.

Gemari Sands

A high school teammate of Terrell, Sands comes in at 5-foot-10 and 190-pounds. He chose FAU over the University of Colorado and Jackson State University. Sands is ranked 90th in the nation at running back and  had an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech on March 17, 2022, but committed to FAU on Nov. 9, 2022, and later signed his letter of intent on Dec. 21, 2022. 

Wide Receivers

Arthur “AJ” Jenkins

Jenkins is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound, wide receiver from Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He ranked 237th wide receiver in the Class of 2023 and chose FAU over multiple Power 5 schools that were interested. Jenkins took an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech on March 17, 2022, but committed to FAU on Oct. 5, 2022. He signed his letter of intent on Dec. 21, 2022.

Jabari Smith, Jr.

Jabari Smith is coming from Jones High School in Orlando, Fla. Smith chose FAU over UCF, USF, FIU, Marshall University, and many more. Smith is 5-foot-10 and 185-pounds. He committed to FAU on July 1, 2022, and signed his letter of intent on Dec. 21, 2022. He is ranked 249th nationally at wide receiver. 


Daniel Richardson

Richardson is coming to FAU as a graduate transfer and will play his final year here. Herman said that within the first 60 seconds of meeting him, he knew Richardson was an “alpha kind of guy.” Richardson played at Carol City High School in Miami, Fla., and was the 49th ranked dual threat quarterback in the Class of 2019. He entered the transfer portal on Dec. 5, 2022, and originally recommitted to Central Michigan on Jan. 7, 2022, before transferring to FAU. Richardson is 5-foot-10, 204 pounds, and is one of three quarterbacks in FAU’s Class of 2023. 

Luke Rucker

Rucker is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound quarterback from Sanford-Seminole High School. He took two unofficial visits to FAU before committing last June. He is the 109th ranked quarterback in the Class of 2023 and chose FAU over Stetson University and Bethune-Cookman University.

Carson Cruver

Cruver comes from Saint Michael’s Catholic Academy in Austin, Texas. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, chose FAU over Drake University and Valparaiso University. Cruver, who averaged 225.3 passing yards per game while at St. Michael’s Catholic, originally committed to Drake University on Oct. 22, 2022, but decommitted almost three months later and committed to FAU on Jan. 26, 2023.

Ben Ballard

Ballard is reuniting with Herman at FAU. Ballard spent much of his collegiate football career at the University of Texas from 2019 to 2022. He is heading to FAU as a graduate student. He is 5-foot-11, 203-pounds, and is from Austin, Texas. He played at Hyde Park Baptist High School. Herman also added that Ballard knew what was going on in Boca Raton and he wanted to be a part of the program.

After a short period of time recruiting, Herman and his staff are full steam ahead on the Class of 2024. He talked about the two pillars he goes by: tough and love. 

“I still believe in the value of collegiate level of athletes getting a degree and playing in football. They are here to represent the student body and the alumni,” said Herman.

With their new motto, “New Conference. New Coach. New Era,” FAU is now selling tickets for the 2023 football season.

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