Trying to hold it together
FAU linebacker Shomari Earls, one of the team's few seniors, is being counted on to provide leadership this fall
By Ted Hutton
Posted August 25 2005
like some nightmare," Earls said. "We got beat something like 60-3,
and I will never forget how that felt."
natural-born leader out there," said Cergile
Sincere, a sophomore who is expected to start at outside linebacker.
Earls has had to be a fast learner. He didn't play tackle football until he was a freshman at
"My mom didn't want me to play
before that," said Earls, who played in the street and in a flag-football
league when he was a youngster.
Earls father, Greg, had played in high school and college, but "Dad had to agree with her. He was in the middle," Shomari said.
"He was exposed to the game [before high school]," said Greg Earls, whose
Shomari Earls made quick progress, starting as a sophomore. By the time he was a senior,
Greg Earls admits to giving his input to his son. "He didn't know who [FAU coach] Howard Schnellenberger was. But I did. My basic message was winners attract winners,'' he said.
"I've been a pretty tough parent and would have understood if he wanted to get far away. But he picked FAU, and I think it's worked out just fine."
Earls is the second oldest of six children. His older brother did not play football and is now with the Navy and stationed in
"We don't condone any sort of foolishness in this house.'' Greg Earls said. "I've been blessed to have a son like Shomari. He's excelled in school and in football and never been in trouble."
Greg Earls likes Schnellenberger because he believes he is a kindred spirit. "We're both old school," Greg Earls said.
And Schnellenberger likes Greg Earls' son.
"I think he is going to be a great player for us this season and be a great leader," Schnellenberger said.
Ted Hutton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org