FAU: D-line is thin

By Ted Hutton
Posted August 10 2005


BOCA RATON -- Seven starts and 20 tackles.

That's all the experience on Florida Atlantic's defensive line, which is expected to start two sophomores and two redshirt freshmen.

"It will be trial by fire," said Josh Pinnick (6 feet 5, 240 pounds), the one with the most experience. He had six starts last season as a true freshman, with 14 tackles and one sack.

"It's funny I am the old man on the line after one year. I know we are young, but we have some athletes out here right now," Pinnick said after FAU's second practice.

"It's hard to find any upperclassmen to put in there," coach Howard Schnellenberger said about the defensive line, which lost senior Jason Pugh for the season when he tore a chest muscle during weight training over the summer. Pugh had 10 starts and 11 tackles last season.

"That was a huge loss," Schnellenberger said, adding that there is a positive. "It will be the most talented group I have ever had."

The only other projected starter with game experience is sophomore Josh Jenkins (6-3, 212), who when to high school at Dillard.

INJURY REPORT: Linebacker Shomari Earls and running back Charles Pierre both left practice early with sore hamstrings. They are questionable for today's practice, the first in pads.