FAU football is building up quite the surname legacy within its program. Even as a couple have recently departed.
Last month, Miami transfer tight end Michael Irvin II, the son of former Hurricanes legend Michael Irvin, announced that he was committing to the FAU football program. A little over a month later, Shedeur Sanders (pictured, left) announced on Twitter that he too has committed to FAU football.
The touted 2021 prospect is one of the football-playing sons of former Florida State All-American Deion Sanders.
Sanders is a four-star 2021 prospect coming out of high school in Cedar Hill, Texas. On the 247Sports.com composite, the 6-1, 198-pound Sanders is the No. 14 pro-style quarterback in the country. he also held offers from, among others, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oregon and Tennessee.
Sanders’ older brother, Shiloh, will be a redshirt freshman defensive back at South Carolina this season.
While the Sanders and Irvin surnames are in the Owls fold, a couple of famous ones have recently left. The wide receiver son of Ray Lewis left FAU football earlier this month. Originally committed to FAU, the running back son of Frank Gore ultimately signed with Southern Miss earlier this offseason.
FAU is coming off a 2019 football campaign in which the Owls tied a school record with 11 wins. Included in that was a first-ever win in the Conference USA championship game. And the program’s fourth straight win in a bowl game, a streak that stretches back to 2007.
Almost immediately after the win in the Boca Raton Bowl, Lane Kiffin left to take over as the head coach at Ole Miss. Kiffin was replaced shortly thereafter by former Florida State and Oregon head coach Willie Taggart.
We all pretty much know the stakes by now. It’s an uphill battle at best for college football as we know it to be played in the fall of 2020.
Despite that, if there’s a chance to put collegiate football players on the field at some point over the next 12 months, it’s going to happen. Maybe the season starts late, maybe it’s truncated, perhaps it’s punted all the way to the spring but, to borrow a phrase, if there’s a way, it will happen.
Because it’s hard to imagine college sports existing without a 2020 football season in some form.
“We are planning to develop several different budget scenarios for next year. I don’t think any of them will be pretty,” Florida State AD David Coburn told an FSU Board of Trustees teleconference on Friday, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
“One of them will be a scenario without football and I would just say God help us if that is the scenario.”
Coburn said Florida State is already looking at the least painful ways to cut costs — be it by cutting travel, and perhaps changing scheduling practices in non-revenue sports to play more games closer to Tallahassee.
Coburn also said Florida State lost in the neighborhood of $2.5 million with the cancelation of the ACC and NCAA tournaments. He did not speculate how much FSU would lose if there was no football season, but it seems clear that the loss would be in the mid-to-high eight figures.
That’s likely true across the board, but local circumstances — namely, the costs of firing Willie Taggart and hiring Mike Norvell — make any revenue shortfalls even more painful for the ‘Noles.
A loss for Baylor will turn into a gain for the Florida State football program.
Earlier this offseason, Deonte Williams signaled his intention to leave Waco by entering the NCAA transfer database. Monday, Williams indicated on Twitter that he received a scholarship offer from FSU. Two days later, on the same social media service, the defensive end announced that he has committed to the Florida State football team.
Williams has a familial connection to Florida State as his father, Alphonso, played his college football for the Seminoles. His father played with Odell Haggins, the longtime FSU assistant who was retained by new head coach Mike Norvell.
During the 2018 season, Williams suffered a significant fracture in his arm. Williams sat out the 2019 season after “[m]e and my dad decided to take the medical DQ to have time to think about my future moving forward,” he told 247Sports.com. A few months later, he entered the portal.
A three-star 2016 signee, Williams was rated as the No. 37 outside linebacker in the country. The Plano, Tex., product took a redshirt as a true freshman. He started four of the nine games in which he played in 2017, then played in the first seven games the following season before the arm injury in a game against Texas.
Nov. 3, Florida State announced that Willie Taggart was out as the program’s head football coach. A month later, Norvell was hired away from Memphis as Taggart’s replacement.
Including Williams, Norvell has added five Power Five transfers since he arrived at FSU, which is coming off back-to-back sub-.500 seasons for the first time since 1975-76.