Palm Beach County’s connection to Florida Atlantic University’s football team has been a sturdy one this season.
There are more than a dozen local players on FAU’s roster this season, with many of them playing key roles for the Conference USA-champion Owls.
Starting running back Devin Singletary, an American Heritage graduate, leads the nation in rushing TDs with 29.
A pair of Seminole Ridge graduates – defensive back Jalen Young and running back Kerrith Whyte — also have made big contributions for FAU, while Dwyer’s Daniel Parr and Gerald Hearns, American Heritage’s Greg Joseph, Glades Central’s Steven Leggett, and Seminole Ridge’s Antonyo Woods and Roman Fernandez are among those who have logged playing time this season.
That group helped FAU claim its first Conference USA championship on Saturday afternoon, as the Owls routed North Texas 41-17 at FAU Stadium. The win was FAU’s second over the Mean Green this season following a 69-31 rout on Oct. 21.
The Owls rolled up 633 yards of offense Saturday, with Singletary contributing 164 from the backfield, plus his 27th, 28th and 29th rushing touchdowns. He also completed a pass for 12 yards, and caught one pass.
“It’s one of the best feelings ever, to know that all the hard work that we put in paid off,” said Singletary, who played in two state championship games with the Stallions, but did not win one.
Singletary credited his team for helping him achieve record-setting numbers this season.
“I’m in great company,” he said. “I couldn’t do it without my teammates. I know how hard we push each other.”
Young, a junior, also had a big day for the Owls, intercepting two passes — he returned one for 50 yards — and recording seven tackles.
He spoke earlier in the week about bringing home a conference championship to Palm Beach County.
“It means a lot to this university,” he said. “For so long, we’ve been that team that everybody is counting out. We were put in a position to win. This university is getting a lot of clout around everything. It would be nice just to bring something back to this university and the city of Boca.”
FAU learns Sunday where it will play its bowl game. The Owls have not played in a bowl since 2008.