BOCA RATON, Fla. - Fresh off an 11-win season that included a Conference USA Championship and Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl victory, Head Coach Lane Kiffin and the Florida Atlantic University football team inked five newcomers to the 2018 roster on Wednesday's early national signing day.
All told, the Owls will be bringing in three junior college transfers and two true freshmen as part of this early signing class. Two are strictly on the offensive side of the ball, two are defenders, and one played both ways in high school. Two of the five are from Florida, two from Mississippi, and one from is from California.
Jr. | 6-2 | 305 | DT | Morton, Miss. (Copiah-Lincoln CC)
JUCO: Three-star recruit according to 247Sports.com, where he is ranked as the No. 17 DT and No. 79 national JUCO player...Played nine games his sophomore year at Copiah-Lincoln and was named MACJC Second Team All-State after recording 48 tackles and four sacks...Also had nine tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick...Twice posted a season high of 10 tackles...As a freshman, played in nine games, totaling 23 tackles, including seven for loss...Had six sacks that season along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
High School: His senior year at Morton High School, recorded 172 tackles, 15.6 per game, with 15 tackles for loss...Also had 10.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries...That came after a junior season that saw him post 153 total tackles in 13 games, seven for loss, and five sacks.
Fr. | 6-6 | 250 | OT/DE | Orlando, Fla. (Jones)
High School: Three-star recruit according to ESPN and 247Sports...Played both sides of the ball for Jones High School...Fightin' Tigers finished 10-2-1 in 2017, with six shutouts, and in the other four wins, giving up 10 points or less...Team outscored opponents by average of 41.3 to 11...His junior year, the team was 10-2 and had a similar scoring margin of 45.2 to 14.6, including three shutouts.
Jr. | 5-10 | 180 | WR | Pasadena, Calif. (College of the Canyons)
JUCO: Led the Cougars with 52 catches, 912 yards and seven touchdowns...Had three games over 100 yards, with his season best of 127 coming in early September...Finished the season ranked No. 8 in CCCAA in receiving yards and was chosen to the 2017 Region III All-California Community College Football Team...Was also a unanimous SCGA North League First Team selection...Led the team to a 9-2 final record and a Western State Bowl win.
Previous School: Played his freshman year at Southern Utah...In eight games, caught nine passes for 90 yards, with a long of 32.
High School: Four-star recruit and No. 34 WR in the nation according to ESPN, out of Alemany High School in Mission Hills, California...Was Rivals' No. 26 wide receiver and was rated four stars by that service as well...Was named Co-MVP of the Serra League as a junior.
Franklin "Tre" Jackson
Fr. | 6-2 | 220 | DE | Winter Garden, Fla. (West Orange)
High School: Three-star ESPN recruit...Led the Warriors to a 7-4 record this season, a five-game improvement from the year prior...Team finished the year on a five-game winning streak...After his junior year, won the Big Man Skills Challenge at the Under Armour All-American Football Camp.
Jr. | 6-0 | 180 | WR | Hollandale, Miss. (Copiah-Lincoln CC)
JUCO: Wideout rated four stars by ESPN and three stars by both 247Sports and Rivals...ESPN ranks him as 16th in the ESPN JC50 and No. 4 WR, and 247 also slots him as the No. 4 WR as well as the No. 44 overall JUCO player...Hauled in 14 passes for 200 yards as a sophomore, including a touchdown in the season finale...Also averaged over five yards a carry (six for 33), 23.3 yards per kick return (seven for 163), and had a 78-yard punt return in the opening game...Was named First Team All-State at wide receiver and Second Team kick returner following his freshman season...Had 22 receptions for 326 yards with three touchdowns, and had a return score along with 350 yards on 14 returns.
High School: At Simmons School his senior year, led the Blue Devils to a 12-0 season and the MHSAA Class 1A State Championship in 2015, the school's first ever...In the finals game, had 49 yards rushing, 70 yards receiving and a 36-yard touchdown catch, and he had 197 yards rushing, four rushing touchdowns and an interception at safety the game prior, the Class 1A North finals...Ran for 826 yards and 15 touchdowns, and caught 24 passes for 572 yards and nine scores as a senior...Also had three kick return touchdowns, one punt return score, and a two pick-six interceptions...Chosen to the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic following the season...The year prior, the team was 11-2 while he had over 2,500 all-purpose yards and 23 total touchdowns (with seven coming on special teams)...He had 1,011 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, and had eight receiving scores among his 41 catches for 788 yards.
Here is a summation of the Owls' early signee quintet from Wednesday:
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt||Class||Hometown (Previous School)|
|Charles Cameron *||DT||6-2||305||Jr.||Morton, Miss. (Copiah-Lincoln CC)|
|Devin Hayes||OT/DE||6-6||250||Fr.||Orlando, Fla. (Jones)|
|Desean Holmes||WR||5-10||180||Jr.||Pasadena, Calif. (College of the Canyons)|
|Franklin "Tre" Jackson||DE||6-2||220||Fr.||Winter Garden, Fla. (West Orange)|
|Nero Nelson||WR||6-0||180||Jr.||Hollandale, Miss. (Copiah-Lincoln CC)|
* Will enroll in spring