June 13, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Seven members of Florida Atlantic University's football team have garnered preseason all-conference recognition by Athlon Sports.
FAU senior corner D'Joun Smith was honored on the first team, similar to Phil Steele's preseason prediction announced earlier this month. Six of the seven players recognized by Athlon also were members of a Steele team with one exception - defensive back Damian Parms made the list rather than fellow defensive back Christian Milstead.
Four of the seven Owls honored hail from the defensive side of the ball. FAU's defense ended 2013 ranked No. 11 nationally. Smith was the lone first team member, ending his junior campaign among the nation's top three in both passes broken up and interceptions.
Senior wide receiver William Duke was named second team and was the top FAU honoree on the offensive side of the ball. Duke has led all FAU receivers in yards the last two seasons.
Second team defense honorees included defensive lineman Brandin Bryant, linebacker Andrae Kirk and safety Damian Parms. Bryant, a junior, will return as the team's leading pass rusher. Andrae Kirk, a three-year starter, is the most experienced linebacker on the field. Parms started in every game one year ago at strong safety, and finished his junior campaign with 78 tackles, two forced fumbles and six passes defended, including an interception.
Johnson, a transfer and the 2013 Conference USA Newcomer of the Year, battled for the starting spot and ended his sophomore campaign leading the Owls in both passing and rushing. FAU set a single-season rushing record in 2013 and did so behind the efforts of a new offensive line.
Coley, who has started every game since coming to FAU in 2012, will return to anchor a defensive line that recorded a program single-season high 32 sacks. Coley added 2.5 sacks.
The Owls will open their 2014 campaign under the direction of FAU Head Football Coach Charlie Partridge on Saturday, Aug. 30 versus the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb. FAU's home schedule will kick-off on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m., against University of Tulsa. Season tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1-866-FAU-Owls.