In less than seven months, Florida Atlantic will open its 2013 season with its first-ever game against the University of Miami.
The following week, FAU will play its first-ever Conference USA game, and the Owls’ new stadium is less than two years old.
There are a lot of “new” things happening at FAU. And on Wednesday, second-year FAU coach Carl Pelini added to the list by announcing the signing of 25 recruits, including 17 from Florida.
“I’m proud of the effort our coaching staff put into this class,” Pelini said at his National Signing Day news conference. “We had 25 commitments coming into the day, and we had 25 signed by early in the day.
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“I’ve been in this business a long time, and that doesn’t happen often, that there are no glitches on signing day.”
The three highest-rated Owls recruits are all three-star players: offensive lineman Austin Bland of St. Thomas Aquinas, defensive tackle Lance Burlingame from Franklin, Mass., and linebacker Robert Relf, a junior-college transfer from Phoenix.
The Owls loaded up at several positions, including quarterback, where they signed three, including local prospect Greg Hankerson of Boyd Anderson. The other QBs are junior-college transfer Quez Johnson and Port St. Lucie standout D.J. Juste, who can also play receiver.
Bland is one of five Owls offensive-line recruits, including Coral Reef’s Jakobi Smith.
The Owls got a whopping seven defensive backs, including Taravella’s Robert Miller.
Including Relf, five of the Owls recruits are junior-college transfers who are already enrolled at FAU.
“This is the best class in the history of the university,” Pelini told The Palm Beach Post. “We got the local kids to stay home.”