FAU Football: Previewing the Inside Linebackers

The Owls will be returning senior Eddie Williams, who was their second-leading tackler despite having his season cut short to injury.


Erika Fletcher

Inside linebacker Jarret Jerrels (#44) playing during the 2023 Spring Game.

Cameron Priester, Editor-at-Large

With the Owls season opener less than three months away, the UP will give some insight on each position on the roster. Today, we will focus on the inside linebackers. 

Inside linebacker is one of the most important positions on the defense—hence why they are frequently the “captain” of the defense and tasked with relaying the play call from the sideline. They’re the primary defense against the run, while also having to drop back in coverage against the pass. 

The group is led by senior Eddie Williams, who’ll be looking to return to previous form after having his season cut short due to injury last year. Despite missing the last four games of the season, Williams finished as the team’s second leading tackler with 65 total tackles and 2.5 sacks. 

Returning alongside Williams will be junior Jarret Jerrels, who showed flashes of potential last season, finishing with 11 total tackles and a forced fumble. 

Also returning will be redshirt sophomores Justice Cross and Makai Sawtelle, who’ve previously been on the roster in limited roles. Cross finished with two tackles in eight games played, while Sawtelle didn’t see the field last season after recording five tackles in 2021. 

There will also be some new additions to the group in the form of four transfers that arrived this offseason. 

Senior Desmond Tisdol opted to spend his final year of eligibility at FAU, after playing three seasons at Auburn University. Tisdol appeared in all 12 of the Tiger’s games last season, finishing with 14 tackles, including a five-tackle game against the University of Arkansas.

Redshirt sophomore Ja’Corey Hammett made the move to FAU after being redshirted his freshman season at West Virginia University, and spending last season at Garden City Community College. A former three-star recruit coming out of Miami Northwestern High School, Hammet recorded 46 tackles, 13 for loss, last season for Garden City.

This offseason they also added redshirt freshman Zyere Horton, transfer from Georgia Southern University, and graduate Jackson Ambush, transfer from the University at Albany (NY). Horton played in four games at Georgia Southern, while Ambush played in 11 games and recorded 45 tackles and an interception.

While there is plenty of returning production at inside linebacker, many of the new additions that made their presence felt elsewhere will also be looking to help a defense that ranked seventh of 11 C-USA teams in total defense. 

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