Sophomores may get early shot at FAU

Palm Beach Post Staff Writers

Monday, August 15, 2005

The backfield tandem of sophomore fullback Dominick Walker and sophomore halfback B.J. Manley that Florida Atlantic showed Sunday is what the Owls expect for the season opener.

However, it's the opener in 2006 when FAU is hoping Walker and Manley will paired together.

But with senior fullback Aaron Sanchez being limited with a quadriceps injury, having young backs prepared for the first game this season against Kansas may be the only option the Owls have.

"That's all we have is young guys, but no matter who we have back there they are going to be talented," said FAU running backs coach David Serna.

The Owls were hoping Sanchez, FAU's leading returning rusher, would provide stability, but after he missed all of spring practice with an ankle injury, FAU is preparing other players at fullback.

Walker took a majority of snaps with the first team Sunday and did well, but is still learning the position after playing in just six games last season.

"I'm kind of dragging out there in practice getting more reps," Walker said. "It's demanding a lot more out of me, but I'm studying the playbook and watching a lot of film."

Coach Howard Schnellenberger said Manley, Walker and redshirt freshmen Charles Pierre and DiIvory Edgecomb are performing at about the same level.

"That would be something if we could have four producing backs back there," Schnellenberger said. "All those guys were heavily recruited. They all are in a wad right now. I'd like them all to improve."

Injuries: Starting defensive tackle Vinnie Henderson missed Sunday's workout with a hip flexor and senior linebacker Shomari Earls missed another day with a sore hamstring.

Marcus Nelson