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FAU Leads C-USA in Recruiting for Football Ahead of Unique Season


The Owls aren’t allowing the NCAA’s temporary recruiting “dead” period from the pandemic to slow down the team’s recruiting efforts.

Over the past three months, FAU has secured 15 verbal commitments for the 2021 football recruiting class.

That leads Conference USA. Even better, 247 Sports ranks the Owls’ 2021 recruiting class as the top in the conference at this point, based on total points rankings.

New FAU coach Willie Taggart credits his coaching staffs’ existing relationships and ongoing communication with prospects as the keys to the team’s early success in recruiting.

“Our coaches are doing a great job of building relationships with these young men and getting them to believe in our philosophy and vision of what we want with our program,” Taggart says. “A lot of these kids want to be a part of what we’re doing here.

He adds, “Our [coaches] have done a great job showing our campus through Zoom, walking [them] around and giving them a campus tour. Our guys have taken a lot of time doing that, and it’s paid off quite a bit.

When Taggart took the FAU job last December, he viewed Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties as the Owls’ in-state recruiting base. He decided to make it a priority to pursue local players.

With that in mind, seven of FAU’s pledges are from the South Florida: Deerfield Beach linebacker Justice Cross, Miami Palmetto defensive end Dwight Dassaw, Deerfield Beach wide receiver Frederick Eaford, Cardinal Gibbons offensive tackle Anthony Earle, Fort Lauderdale wide receiver Jahmal Edrine, Northwestern offensive linemen Okino King and Northwestern running back Zuberi Mobley.

The Owls’ other eight commitments outside of the region are:

— Eau Gallie (Melbourne) defensive end/outside linebacker Julius Barfield

— Gadsden County High School (Havana) linebacker Jeremiah Brown

— Robert E. Lee High School (Montgomery, Ala.) running back Reginald Davis

— Federal Way High School (Federal Way, Wash.) safety Jatavious Magee

— Winder-Barrow High School (Winder, Ga.) defensive end Jacob Merrifield

— Tampa Catholic twin-brother offensive linemen Jaden and Jordan Sandlin

— Dr. Phillips High School (Orlando) safety Jadai Smith

“We have things in place in what we’re looking for,” Taggart says, “We find young men that fit what we’re looking for and we go all-in on them by selling them on our vision, our program and how they fit. It’s been going well for us.”

Fox Sports 640 South Florida is the official radio partner of FAU football.

Go Owls!