breaking news

Senate confirms Pompeo as secretary of state

Lane Kiffin brought best out of once-third-string QB Jason Driskel


Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin is many things, especially on social media, but no one has ever doubted his work with quarterbacks.

*Lane Kiffin’s latest take on Nick Saban

*More FAU coverage

In Kiffin’s first head coaching job since being fired from USC midway through the 2013 season, he helped turn Owls redshirt junior Jason Driskel into one of Conference USA’s top quarterbacks. After losing the preseason quarterback battle to Daniel Parr (Dwyer) and beginning the season as the Owls’ third quarterback, Driskel went 10-1 as a starter as the Owls won their first C-USA championship and won the Boca Raton Bowl. The Owls won a program-record 11 games.

To start our positional reviews from the 2017 FAU season, it only makes sense to start with a position that wasn’t solidified until the Owls were already making history …

MVP: Driskel didn’t play until garbage time of a 45-0 win over Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 16 and didn’t start until the next week against Buffalo, but the redshirt junior more than made up for lost time. Driskel finished with career-highs in completion percentage (66.5) and touchdowns (15) while cutting down on his interceptions (4 after throwing 11 in 2016).

Though Kiffin has promised another quarterback competition, Driskel should enter spring camp as the full-fledged starter for the first time in his career.

Biggest surprise: Despite a slow start from Driskel, Kiffin never elected to use a two-quarterback system and kept Parr on the bench. When games were out of reach, Kiffin put wide receiver and former Auburn quarterback John Franklin III in at quarterback to lead a Wildcat formation. After throwing 74 times in the first three games, Parr did not attempt a single pass after being removed from the starting lineup.

Who’s returning? Jason Driskel; Chris Robison; Connor Miller; and Tyrone Smith Jr. (Although Smith is expected to see action at cornerback this spring and could permanently move there). De’Andre Johnson is expected to return for the 2018 season if he is healthy in his return from blood clots.

Who’s leaving? Parr announced last month he will be transferring to Duquesne University . FAU is not losing any of their true quarterbacks, though Franklin III has exhausted all years of eligibility.

Biggest offseason storyline: Is this spring’s competition strictly between Driskel and Robison? With Parr’s departure and Johnson’s football future uncertain, Kiffin could opt to add an impact quarterback to this year’s recruiting class during the February signing period.

Given Johnson is still working his way back from a serious surgery, rising fifth-year senior Conor Miller is likely to enter camp alongside Robison as one of the first two quarterbacks behind Driskel.

Noteworthy: FAU running back Devin Singletary (American Heritage) and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair have officially been announced to the 63rd Touchdown Cub of Columbus Awards next month as Players to Watch in 2018. Singletary ran for 1,920 yards and 32 touchdowns this year as a true sophomore and will be joined by five other running backs. Al-Shaair is the all-time career tackles leader in FAU history (354) and will be joined by Ohio State’s Nick Bosa and Buffalo’s Khalil Hodge as defensive players to watch. Marshall quarterback Chase Litton and North Texas quarterback Mason Fine will also represent Conference USA.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Texas A&M AD Scott Woodward on addition of coach Jimbo Fisher: ‘It just feels right’
Texas A&M AD Scott Woodward on addition of coach Jimbo Fisher: ‘It just feels right’

Only four active college football coaches have won national championships, and Texas A&M hired one of them this offseason. Jimbo Fisher, who led Florida State to a national title, is in elite company with Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Alabama’s Nick Saban and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. It’s a group that Texas A&...
Top MLB draft prospects Brady Singer, Casey Mize set to duel in Florida-Auburn opener
Top MLB draft prospects Brady Singer, Casey Mize set to duel in Florida-Auburn opener

GAINESVILLE, Fla.  — In its preseason ranking of the top 2018 MLB draft prospects, Baseball America slotted Florida ace Brady Singer No. 1 on the list and Auburn’s Casey Mize No. 4. And neither pitcher has done anything to diminish his draft stock. The two college standouts now get will share the mound Thursday...
The latest on Kardell Thomas’ plans to enroll early at LSU
The latest on Kardell Thomas’ plans to enroll early at LSU

Remember the LSU mailbag? Multiply it by five. SEC Country’s LSU recruiting reporter Sam Spiegelman will answer reader questions Monday through Friday in a new segment called “LSU recruiting question of the day.” Feel free to join the conversation by tweeting your questions to Sam on Twitter ( ...
Top MLB draft prospects Brady Singer, Casey Mize set to duel in Florida-Auburn opener
Top MLB draft prospects Brady Singer, Casey Mize set to duel in Florida-Auburn opener

GAINESVILLE, Fla.  — In its preseason ranking of the top 2018 MLB draft prospects, Baseball America slotted Florida ace Brady Singer No. 1 on the list and Auburn’s Casey Mize No. 4. And neither pitcher has done anything to diminish his draft stock. The two college standouts now get will share the mound Thursday...
Ohio State football: Even in crowded backfield, Master Teague can play right away
Ohio State football: Even in crowded backfield, Master Teague can play right away

During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the...
More Stories