In Willie Taggart’s first Early Signing Period as head coach of FAU, he signed nine new players. The Owls also added a player through the transfer portal on Wednesday.
Here’s a look at each of those prospects and their potential fit when they join the Owls:
Sebastian Dolcine, OG, Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) C.C.
Beginning his college career at Kentucky, Dolcine transferred to Copiah-Lincoln. The Florida native played high school football close to FAU at Miramar High School, where he helped capture the school’s first state championship in 2017.
Dolcine is the 20th ranked junior college player and 2nd at offensive guard. He held offers to UCF and Mississippi State before ultimately committing to FAU after an official visit on December 13.
Dolcine will be eligible immediately for FAU and could make an impact on an offensive line that sometimes struggled during the 2019 season.
Alvin Dempsey, DT, East Central (Miss.) C.C
Dempsey, a defensive tackle, was ranked the 8th ranked junior college defensive tackle and the 80th ranked junior college player overall. He chose FAU over North Texas, where he previously committed.
Dempsey finished the 2019 season with 30 tackles, three tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. In 2018, Dempsey racked up 40 tackles, 6.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss in nine total games.
With every defensive tackle on FAU’s roster either in their final year or second to final year of eligibility, Dempsey will have a strong chance to earn playing time during spring camp.
Decarius Hawthorne, DL, Birmingham-Center Point (Ala.)
Hawthorne, who projects as a defensive end in college, was ranked 80th in the state of Alabama. Hawthorne also held offers to Tulane, Eastern Kentucky, and Jacksonville State.
In his junior season, Hawthorne finished with 20 tackles for loss and four sacks. In his senior season, Hawthorne was named to the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game.
Although Hawthorne may struggle to find snaps in his first season, his size makes him an intriguing option for FAU down the road. At 6-2, 268, he’ll find a home on the strong side of the line holding the opposing run game in check.
Marlon Krakue, Edge, Marietta-Sprayberry (Ga.)
Krauke, a defensive end, will be asked to play a hybrid of linebacker and DE, as Leighton McCarthy did for the Owls this season.
Krauke was ranked as the 41st overall defensive end and the 89th ranked player in the state of Georgia. He also held offers from Minnesota, Marshall, Southern Miss, and Rutgers.
Krauke’s role as an edge player, or LEO, should FAU continue to use it, will be important, as he will be expected to both play in coverage and pass rush.
Andre Lamas, OL, Miami-Columbus (Fla.)
Lamas, who played his high school football at Columbus High School in Miami, finished the 2019 season with a Class 8A state championship, as the Explorers pulled off a 21-20 victory over Apopka.
He was ranked the 130th offensive guard in the country and the 269th player in Florida.
Lamas is expected to play center at FAU, which is a position of need following Junior Diaz’s departure at the end of the season.
Joe Lewis, LB, Tampa Bay-Tampa Bay Tech (Fla.)
Lewis committed to the Owls in 2018 and was expected to enroll during the summer, but suffered a gunshot wound to his back in May and did not enroll at FAU.
In his senior season at Tampa Bay Tech, Lewis finished with 63 total tackles and 14 tackles for loss. Lewis also had four sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown.
Travis Lockhart, DL, Villa Rica-Carrollton (Ga.)
As a senior at Carrollton High School, Lockhart had 24 tackles, seven tackles for loss and four sacks. Lockhart also added a fumble recovery.
Lockhart was ranked as the 158th strong-side defensive end. He also had interest from Minnesota, East Carolina, Army, and Southern Miss.
Justin McKithen, WR, Savannah-New Hampstead (Ga.)
Known for his speed, McKithen was named All-Region 3A as a return specialist in his senior season. He was also named to the All-Region team for 2-AAAAA as a returner.
With FAU losing DeAngelo Antoine, his speed could be a huge difference maker. pic.twitter.com/pEUgwFCqLS
— FifthQuarter Florida Atlantic (@FQFAU) December 18, 2019
With FAU losing DeAngelo Antoine and Dante Cousart as slot receivers, McKithen could see some significant snaps during spring camp.
Charles Toombs, S, Immokalee (Fla.)
Toombs, who played all over the field during high school, finished his senior season with five interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He was named a finalist for the Naples Daily News Defensive Player of the Year.
Ranked as the 295th player in Florida by 247Sports Composite, Toombs was also offered by Kentucky, NC State, Iowa State, and Temple.
Yanez Rogers, WR, Cincinnati (Transfer)
A Pompano Beach native, Rogers returns to Florida after two seasons at Cincinnati.
In 2018, Rogers saw action in just three games, finishing the season with one reception for four yards. Rogers did not see the field in 2019.
Taggart believes that Rogers’ waiver application will be approved, clearing the way for the receiver to play in 2020.
FAU HC Willie Taggart says he expects Cincy transfer and WR Yanez Rogers to be eligible to play in 2020. @pbpsports
— Jake Elman (@JakeElman97) December 18, 2019