Aug 30, 2000
BOCA RATON, FL -
As many as 170 players continued their quest to make the inaugural Florida Atlantic University football team as day tow of practice took place Wednesday at the tom Oxley Practice Field at FAU's Boca Raton campus. The contingent includes 20 scholarship players and nearly 150 walk-ons.
"The big thing about today is that it was a beautiful day for practice, said FAU head coach Howard Schnellenberger. "It wasn't hot. Tt was overcast. Unfortunately, there were about a dozen players that couldn't finish practice because of muscle pulls. That's an indication they weren't prepared for training camp, but on the other hand, it's not surprising since some of the athletes probably didn't know they would be playing football this fall."
One of those who missed practice entirely was quarterback Mario Fernandez. The Hialeah High standout was suffering from strep throat but is expected back for Thursday's practice. As a result, it turned into a positive for Schnellenberger.
"Even though Mario wasn't able to participate in practice, I was able to work with him individually to correct a major defect in his throwing motion. As a result, I'm glad he couldn't practice so I could spend time working with him."
"We're still very pleased with the quality of both the scholarship and walk-on athletes," said Schnellenberger. "The quality of our walk-on group added to what I've already said is probably the best first-year class I've ever signed, including at Miami and at Louisville. This is a more than satisfactory first class."
While this week marks the first ever on a FAU football field, it also marks the return to the field for Schnellenberger. "After being away from the football field for the last four years, I'm not surprised how easy it has been to get into the routine. None of the excitement and pleasure has been diminished by time.
Schnellenberger also commented on the unique atmosphere his team enjoys in Boca Raton.
"As the long shadows filled in the Tom Oxley Practice field, I couldn't help but think how pleasant this August afternoon was, and how refreshing the ocean breeze felt. No player in the southern half of the United States has as pleasurable of experience on the practice field."