FAU Football Signings

Feb. 7, 2001

The countdown to Florida Atlantic University's first football season continued Wednesday with the announcement of the team's second recruiting class. Head coach and Director of Football Operations, Howard Schnellenberger, announced 31 scholarship student athletes have been added to the FAU football roster.

"This is a wonderful, wonderful day for Florida Atlantic University," said Schnellenberger. "This is by far the best class we've recruited here. As I look back to the days at Miami and at Louisville, when we went through a similar process in 1979 and 1984, these classes that we've been able to put together here from the Florida Atlantic Territory are vastly superior to the ones we were able to put together at Miami and at Louisville."

The breakdown of players includes six from Palm Beach County, four from Broward County, and seven from Miami-Dade County.

"To be able to put together what I think is going to be a great football team in the shortest period possible, and to be able to do that with South Florida kids, is carrying out the mission of this university and this football team," said Schnellenberger.

In all, only two of the 31 players is from outside of the state of Florida.

Schnellenberger credits the work of his coaching staff in the success the program has made in bringing in some of the area's top talent.

"Our coaching staff has put more hours in on recruiting than any staff that I've been associated with," he said. "That's why they know more about every kid in the Florida Atlantic territory than Miami, Florida, Florida State, South Florida, or anybody else. For that reason we are going to be successful over the years."

"We are fully loaded and fully prepared to start this journey now, said Schnellenberger.

FAU begins play September 1 against Slippery Rock at Pro Player Stadium.

The list of FAU recruits signed Wednesday:

Jake Beckman (DE, 6-3, 220, Miami, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Came from a program with a strong defensive line and will translate that into his collegiate career.

High School: Played for Jim Kroll at Miami Palmetto Senior High School...defensive line leader on a line which allowed only 63.8 yards rushing per game and just 81.9 yards passing per game...team allowed only 11 touchdowns his senior season...gave up an average of 145.7 yards/game...Beckman had 36 tackles, 24 solo...he recorded six tackles for a loss and forced six fumbles while recovering three...had five sacks and three big hits behind the line of scrimmage...following the season, he was named to the Miami Herald All-Dade Second Team...chose FAU to remain close to his family.

Personal: Born November 10, 1982...Father (Ed) played football at Florida State and for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Sam Black (RB, 5-10, 195, Miami, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Has unlimited potential with an excellent attitude...has tremendous strength...single handedly beat Southridge in the playoffs.

High School: Played for Earl Tillman at Miami Senior High School...ranked as Dade County's 23rd leading rusher...rushed 76 times for 436 yards as a junior with five touchdowns...four receptions for 38 yards...as a senior improved his rank to the 10th best Dade County rusher...carried the ball 118 times for 910 yards and nine touchdowns along with nine receptions for 129 yards and one touchdown...in the playoffs, he carried the ball 30 times for 275 yards and two touchdowns...also had six receptions for 80 yards and one touchdown in the playoffs...physically, he can complete 16 reps of 225 (bench press)...chose FAU immediately after his visit...enjoyed his weekend and meeting the coaches which have built a name for themselves in South Florida...also wanted to be a part of a new program.

Personal: Born February 20, 1983.

Sylvester Brinkley (LB, 6-3, 185, Stuart, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Second leading tackler on his team...has size and speed and will get even bigger as he matures...has ability to cover wide receivers and strength to play inside at linebacker...excellent upside.

High School: Played for Ed Geiger at Martin County High School...second leading tackler on 2000 Martin County team as a linebacker or defensive back...two year starter...played in the Palm Beach All-Star "Outback Bowl".

Personal: Born July 14, 1983.

Yulkeith Brown (DB, 5-8, 175, Miami, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Excellent man-to-man player...extremely quick and agile...shut down top receivers in Miami-Dade County last year and shines as a punt returner.

High School: Played for Billy Rolle at Northwestern High School...first-team All-Dade...first-team All-State...third-team All-America "USA" as the best true corner in South Florida...chose FAU over Florida State, West Virginia, North Carolina State, Minnesota, South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia Tech, Auburn, UCF, and South Florida.

Personal: Born March 22, 1982...already enrolled at FAU.

Thavaris Dority (WR, 6-4, 185, Boca Raton, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Good hands and speed...runs the 40 in 4.6...has a 37-inch vertical leap....his height and leaping ability will allow him to be a productive player at the next level... ability to stretch defenses was a key reason for the success of Boca Raton's passing game this season.

High School: Played for Brian Dobbs at Boca Raton High School...had 21 cathches for 389 yards and five touchdowns...had a 65 yard touchdown against Santaluces...chose FAU because of its proximity to his family, the fact that it's a new program which he can help build, and because he has the hope of playing early in his career.

Personal: Born August 26, 1981.

Dominic Fair (ILB, 6-0, 225, Boynton Beach, FL)

Coaches' Comments: A "big-time linebacker," says coach Bill Bretherick....All-State and Defensive Player of the Year.

High School: Played for Bill Bretherick at Spanish River High School...rated in the top-100 players in the state of Florida...four-year starter...named First-Team All-State...earned Boca News and Sun Sentinel (Palm Beach County) Defensive Player-of-the-Year...played in the Palm Beach County "Outback Bowl"... tallied 148 tackles during his senior campaign, 103 of which were solo...led Palm Beach County with 427 career tackles, averaged 10 per game...chose FAU after considering Miami, Kansas State, Rutgers, Central Florida, and Louisville.

Personal: Born February 28, 1983.

Yamon Figurs (WR/DB, 5-11, 160, Fort Pierce, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Great speed...runs a time of 21.6 in the 200 meters...excellent catching ability...can also serve as a kick returner.

High School: Played for Kevin McMahon at Ft. Pierce-Westwood High School...had seven catches for over 100 yards and two touchdowns...runs the 200, 400 and competes in the long jump for Westwood HS...MVP of the "Outback Bowl"...considered Rutgers, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Personal: Born January 15, 1982.

Kevin Fischer (OL, 6-3, 235, Boca Raton, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Played both TE and DE...may work into the line-up as an offensive lineman and/or long snapper....had an excellent senior season...strong frame who knows how to use it.

Coach Terry Gough's Comments: "You're supposed to have your best year as a senior, and he certainly did."

High School: Played for Terry Gough at Pope John Paul II High School...joins fellow tight end and former Pope John Paul II teammate Eric Harper...caught 13 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns...defensively, he had 55 tackles, 40 solo, eight for a loss...two-sport athlete (football and basketball)...chose FAU over South Florida, Villanova and Lehigh.

Personal: Born December 17, 1982.

William Gray (DL, 6-4, 210, Lauderdale Lakes, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Two year varsity starter who is a great pass rusher...considered sleeper of this year's class...his defense helped lead team to the second round of the state playoffs...is very athletic with a great upside...has height and very good speed...plays a reckless style of defense...got better with each game.

High School: Played for Ken Scott at Boyd Anderson High School...third-team All-County...elected to play at FAU to stay close to home and knowing he will help build a great program.

Personal: Born November 1, 1982.

Willie Hughley (CB, 5-10, 170, Haines City, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Good hands...sees the field well and has great speed.

High School: Played for Tim Hatten at Haines City High School...earned First-Team defensive back honors for both the Winter Haven News and the Lakeland Ledger...named Second-Team All-State and First-Team All-County....tabbed as a top-20 recruit in the state of Florida by the Grid Iron Report...had 21 receptions for 429 yards...scored seven touchdowns, two of which were defensive...also the 2000 Long Jump National Champion with a leap of 24'10"...also considered Clemson, Georgia Southern and Central Florida.

Personal: Born November 24, 1982.

Dimitri Jacques (LB, 6-3, 205, Miami, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Intelligent athlete who works hard..."mid-semester" student...graduated early and elected to begin college early...has good height and quickness...has excellent potential for the future...he is only going to get bigger...will be a force coming off the edge.

High School: Played for Rick Divita at Miami Beach High School...earned 70 tackles, one touchdown, a defensive touchdown after recovering a blocked kick...also recorded 12 sacks and was nominated for All-American honors...voted best linebacker at the "Butch Davis Camp" and was listed among the "Prep Stars"...graduated from high school early and is currently taking classes at FAU...also considered Minnesota, Iowa, South Florida and Bethune-Cookman.

Personal: Born May 23, 1982.

Tremaine Johnson (DB, 5-11, 172, Boynton Beach, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Strong man-to-man player...runs the 100 meters in 10.7 on the 4 X 100 relay team...team captain and a varsity starter from freshman year on...comes from a tremendous football blood line...his father, Remiuse Johnson, is considered best football player in Palm Beach County's history...cousin is Anquin Bolden, currently playing for FSU.

Coach Ray Berger's Comments: "He's a very smart player, and he's intelligent both on and off the field. His best football is ahead of him."

High School: Played for Ray Berger at Santaluces High School...served as the 2000 team captain...was a four-year starter at corner back/wide receiver...earned All-Conference in 1999 and in 2000....named to the All-FACA District 17 2000 team...earned First-Team Sun-Sentinel All-Area honors...played in the "Outback" All-Star game...had seven interceptions in 1999 and three in 2000...recorded 48 tackles...had 327 yards in receptions, including five touchdowns...credited for 10 broken passes...chose FAU after considering Florida, Missouri, Rutgers and Kansas State...brother signed, today, with Kansas State...chose FAU to remain close to home where his family could watch him play.

Personal: Born June, 1, 1983.

Justin Markey (DE, 6-3, 225, Sarasota, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Did not play as a junior...has a great frame and is tough with speed.

High School: Played for Mike Hobbie at Sarasota High School...earned All-State Honorable Mention honors...Sarasota Herald Tribune All-Area First Team honors and was named to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association First Team All-District squad...earned Sarasota High MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors...participated in the All-Star PAL Bowl... recorded 14 sacks and led the team in tackles for losses...also considered Minnesota, Kansas, Murray State and Western Kentucky...chose FAU because of its coaching staff, its location and the opportunity to play early in his career.

Personal: Born September 26, 1982.

Chris McKinley (S, 6-1, 190, Rockledge, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Good size and vision, big-physical player, intelligent player...projected as a linebacker at FAU...impressive hitter with good speed...very athletic...lost to state champion Glades Central in the playoffs.

High School: Played for Chuck Wood at Rockledge High School...had 100 tackles during the 2000 regular season...earned First-Team Florida Today All-Space Coast Defensive Team honors...Second-team All-State (3A)...also played linebacker for Rockledge...a member of the soccer team which is currently in the state playoffs...considered Northern Illinois and Bethune-Cookman.

Personal: Born February 2, 1983.

Chris Munoz (C, 6-2, 260, Miami, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Despite size, plays position well...two-year starter.

Head Coach Dave Dunn: "He's very, very athletic. He's a good pass blocker and has very good feet. He was a team captain, was great in the weight room and a great leader. Chris will be a positive in any college program."

High School: Played for Dave Dunn at Columbus High School...team's Defensive Player of the Year...earned First-Team All-Dade County, Second-Team All-State...winner of the Popadorada Cup, given annually to the top-Hispanic football player in Dade/Broward County.

Personal: Born April 2, 1983.

Kinyumba Mutakabbirr (LB, 6-2, 187, Lawrenceville, GA)

Coaches' Comments: Played safety in high school, but is expected to play linebacker at FAU...aggressive hitter...runs the 40 in 4.62...good speed and range...very aggressive hitter...good nose for the ball...team leader.

High School: Played for Jed Lacey at Berkmar High School...led team in tackles with 138...recovered three fumbles and had two interceptions...earned Player of the Week for Gwinnett County three times as a senior...named All-County and All-Region for the second-consecutive season...a martial arts expert, he was nominated for the Florida/Georgia all-star game...also considered Richmond, Navy, and Wake Forest.

Personal: Born March 15, 1983.

Taurian Osborne (CB, 5-10, 175, Pembroke Pines, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Son of the legendary South Florida high school coach John Osborne, who was the coach of Mark Richt (head coach of Georgia and former offensive coordinator of FSU) at Boca High School...Richt was recruited by Coach Schnellenberger for Miami...can play both corner and safety...great nose for the ball...a true "coach's son" who really knows the game of football...a leader on and off the field.

High School: Played for John Harris at Miami Jackson Senior High School...named First Team All-Dade and Second Team All-State...was the defensive MVP in the Dade/Broward All-Star game...played in the Broward County All-Star Game...also considered Wake Forest, Massachusetts, Appalachian State, Bethune-Cookman and Hofstra.

Personal: Born July 31, 1983.

Anthony Porter (RB, 5-10, 175, West Palm Beach, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Great speed and excellent hands.

High School: Played for Scott Lobdell at John I. Leonard...earned Honorable Mention All-State...third leading rusher in West Palm Beach...ran for 1,491 yards, scored 20 touchdowns and returned three kick-offs for touchdowns...had two games with six touchdowns each...selected to play in the "Outback" All-Star Game...member of the District 17-FACA All-Star team...nominated to play in the Florida/Georgia All-Star Game.

Personal: Born December 6, 1982.

Darion Porter (WR, 6-1, 170, Palmetto, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Strong blocking receiver...great hands...listed as one of the top-100 players in the state of Florida...has great size as well as speed.

High School: Played for Joe Kinnan at Manatee High School...three-year starter...caught 42 passes for 620 yards and seven touchdowns...high school team has won four state championships...All-State player, who played in the Manatee/Sarasota All-Star game...selected to the Florida team for the Florida/California All-Star game...also plays basketball and runs track...considered Louisville, USF and Marshall.

Personal: Born July 22, 1982.

Jason Pugh (DE, 6-2, 234, Atlantic Beach, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Will be a linebacker...played both linebacker and tight end in high school...also a long snapper...has speed and quickness to play linebacker, but has size and strength to play on the defensive line.

Coach Joe Reynolds' Comments: "Four year starter for us which is odd at a 5A school. He played offense, defense and special teams. He comes from a family of four children All earned a college athletic scholarship."

High School: Played for Joe Reynolds at Fletcher High School...All-Conference selectee and played in All-Coast All-Star game...had 115 tackles, 81 solo, four interceptions, five fumble recoveries and six forced fumbles...also considered SMU, Southern Illinois and Louisville.

Jordan Roberts (DT, 6-2, 235, Santa Maria, CA)

Coaches' Comments: Out of high school, was recruited by Clemson, West Virginia, and Michigan State.

Junior College: Played last season at Alan Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA...played on defense that was ranked first in the Western State Conference and second in the nation...was second on the team in sacks....honorable mention all-conference selection.

High School: Played at South Broward High School...was second-team all-county and 1st-team All-District...played in Dade/Broward all-star game.

Personal: Born October 29, 1979...brother of current FAU assistant coach Alfredo Roberts.

Cameron Rodgers (FS, 5-10, 174, Tampa, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Big hitter...top-notch athlete who plays football, basketball and track...was an option quarterback until he switched to the secondary his senior year. His athleticism has allowed him to be a big play guy for Jefferson High School, no matter what position he played...explosive, and passes very well.

High School: Played for Michael Simmonds at Jefferson High School...played option quarterback until his senior year...excellent receiver...plays basketball and runs track...considered Georgia Southern as a quarterback as well as South Florida, and Mississippi State...Father Kamp Rodgers is a long-time Pop Warner Coach.

Personal: Born October 9, 1982.

Chris Shepard (C, 6-3, 288, Apopka, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Helped lead his team to the 2000 6A playoffs...has good hands and is an intelligent player with good feet for a big man...athletic...combines size with excellent movement...very strong and powerful...one of the top-offensive players in central Florida...Most Valuable lineman in the "Down and Dirty Camp".

High School: Played for Rick Darlington at Apopka High School...finished season with high praise and recognition on the Florida Athletic Coaches Association All-District 10 team...Orlando All-Metro team selection...named to the Orlando-All-Orange County team and played in both the Metro All-Star game and the Dixon Ticonderoga All-Star game...also considered Virginia, Air Force and South Florida.

Personal: Born August 21, 1983.

Justin Sobol (OT, 6-4, 266, Oakland Park, FL)

Coaches' Comments: First player to commit to this signing class...excellent feet for a big man...played both guard and tackle...did a lot of pulling and trapping on the offensive line...a big reason for the success of Ely's running game.

High School: Played for Steve Davis at Ely High School...earned First Team All-County, Second Team All-State honors...helped lead Ely to the state semifinals...Dade/Broward All-Star and North/South All-Star participant.

Personal: Born October 14, 1982.

Teddy Strachan (DT, 6-2, 245, Dania, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Proved he was a big-time player in the Dade/Broward All-Star game...great speed.

High School: Played for Antonio Willis at South Broward High School...was most valuable player of the Dade/Broward All-Star game...also plays basketball for South Broward.

Personal: Born November 18, 1982.

Brittney Tellis (WR, 5-9, 170, Miami, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Fastest player in the "Down and Dirty Camp"...possesses excellent speed and hands...exceptional special teams player.

High School: Played for Billy Rolle at Northwestern High School...leading receiver in Dade All-Star game as well as during the regular-season....named First Team All-Dade and Second Team All-State...second leading punt and kick-off returner in Dade County...served as the team's second-team quarterback...two-sport athlete (football and baseball)...a starting shortstop and lead-off hitter on the baseball team...also considered Pittsburgh, N.C. State, Bethune-Cookman, Florida A & M and South Florida.

Personal: Born July 26, 1983.

Javier Valdes (C, 6-5, 300, Miami, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Strong run-blocker who has potential to be a great pass-blocker.

High School: Played for Richard Stuart at Belen Jesuit Prep...earned Miami Herald First Team All-County in both 1999 and 2000...also earned All-State Honorable Mention as a junior and as a senior...three-year varsity letterman, two-year starter on the offensive line...winner of the Coaches' Award in 1999-2000...played in the Nike Dade/Broward All-Star Game in 2001...had 41 pancake blocks and 68 knockdown blocks his senior season...a two-sport athlete competing in the shot-put and discus.

Personal: Born November 2, 1982.

Scott Whitener (OT, 6-4, 270, Ft. Meade, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Big man with good feet and intelligence both on and off the field.

High School: Played for Mike Hayde at Ft. Meade High School...named First Team Offense All-Polk, All-Lakeland Ledger and Tampa Tribune...earned Larry Bluestein's Florida Kids.net and Florida Prep Football's top-100 prospects...didn't allow a sack in 34 games, through his junior and senior seasons...team won back-to-back district championships and advanced to the Class A Finals in both 1999 and 2000...after leading his team's offensive line with 130 pancake blocks, he was named the Miners' Player of the Week four times...also considered Troy State, East Carolina and Arizona State.

Personal: Born December 21, 1982.

David Wright (OL, 6-5, 335, Orange City, FL)

Coaches' Comments: Experienced player with a total of seven years of organized football...big versatile athlete...has played tight end, offensive line, and defensive line...a big man with excellent feet...is projected to be an offensive lineman because of his pass blocking ability.

High School: Three year varsity member...has played tight end as well as on both offensive and defensive lines...earned All-District as both a junior and senior...played in the Fun Coast Classic all-star game as a senior...two-sport athlete (football and baseball) who excels in the classroom as a scholar athlete...also heavily involved with his church and helped build houses in Mexico during his summer mission trip.

Personal: Born August 13, 1982.

In addition, Todd Portier (LB, 6-2, 234, Deerfield Beach, FL/Deerfield Beach HS) and Larry Taylor (ATH, 5-7, 170, Sebastian, FL/Sebastian River HS) did not sign letters of intent, but were added to the roster and are currently attending FAU.

Name Pos. Ht Wt Hometown High School
Jake Beckman DE 6-3 220 Miami, FL Miami Palmetto
Sam Black RB 5-10 195 Miami, FL Miami Senior
Sylvester Brinkley LB 6-3 185 Stuart, FL Martin County
Yulkeith Brown DB 5-8 175 Miami, FL Northwestern
Thavaris Dority WR 6-4 185 Boca Raton, FL Boca Raton
Dominic Fair LB 6-0 225 Boynton Beach, FL Spanish River
Yamon Figurs WR 5-11 160 Ft. Pierce, FL Ft. Pierce-Westwood
Kevin Fischer OL 6-3 235 Boca Raton, FL Pope John Paul II
William Gray DL 6-4 210 Lauderdale Lakes, FL Boyd Anderson
Willie Hughley CB 5-10 170 Haines City, FL Haines City
Dimitri Jacques LB 6-3 205 Miami, FL Miami Beach
Tremaine Johnson LB 5-11 172 Boynton Beach, FL Santaluces
Justin Markey DB 6-3 225 Sarasota, FL Sarasota HS
Chris McKinley SS 6-1 190 Rockledge, FL Rockledge
Chris Munoz C 6-2 260 Miami, FL Columbus
Kinyumba Mutakabbirr LB 6-2 187 Lawrenceville, GA Berkmar
Taurian Osborne CB 5-10 175 Pembroke Pines, FL Miami Jackson Sr.
Anthony Porter RB 5-10 175 West Palm Beach, FL John I. Leonard
Darrion Porter WR 6-1 170 Palmetto, FL Manatee, FL
Jason Pugh DE 6-2 234 Atlantic Beach, FL Fletcher
Jordan Roberts DT 6-2 235 Santa Maria, CA Alan Hancock College
Cameron Rodgers S 5-10 174 Tampa, FL Jefferson
Chris Shepard C 6-3 288 Apopka, FL Apopka
Justin Sobol OT 6-4 266 Oakland Park, FL Ely
Teddy Strachan DT 6-2 245 Dania, FL South Broward
Brittney Tellis WR 5-9 170 Miami, FL Northwestern
Javier Valdes C 6-5 300 Miami, FL Belen Jesuit Prep
Scott Whitener OT 6-4 270 Fort Meade, FL Fort Meade HS
David Wright OL 6-5 225 Orange City, FL DeLand

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