FAU Owls’ Top 10 Returning Players in 2024 Include Jackson Ambush, Milan Tucker

    Tom Herman and the top 10 returning players for the FAU Owls have their sights set on the school's first bowl game since 2020.

    Tom Herman enters his second season with the FAU Owls and has his sights set on their first bowl game appearance since 2020. It was a tough first year for the Owls’ head coach, but his top 10 returning players for 2024 infuse hope into the fanbase.

    FAU Owls’ Top 10 Returners in 2024

    Analyzing the returning players at every school is a difficult task in the transfer portal area. As such, we’ve included transfer-portal athletes on each team’s roster page to open spring camp in addition to the rostered players from last year.

    10) George Johnson III, RB

    Replacing Larry McCammon III and Kobe Lewis wasn’t going to be easy, so the staff needed to find talent quickly. George Johnson III comes to the Owls from the UMass, where he played receiver for the Minutemen. His game suits the offense better at his new position, and it’s an exciting transition that’s worth watching this year.

    9) Cam Fancher, QB

    If anyone needed a fresh start in 2024, it was Cam Fancher. The former Marshall Thundering Herd quarterback was run out of town thanks to a disappointed fanbase, but he quickly found a new home with the Owls.

    The southpaw from Huber Heights, Ohio, threw for 2,162 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, but he should see improvement in those numbers this year. His game fits Herman’s offense better than it did with the Herd, and there’s plenty of talent around him to put together a fun season.

    8) Caleb Coombs, WR

    Fancher’s former Thundering Herd teammate joins him in Boca Raton, and Caleb Coombs looks to replace the talent lost to graduation and the transfer portal. He put together the best season of his career in 2023 with 39 catches for 310 yards and two touchdowns and hopes to build upon those numbers this year.

    7) Marlon Bradley, EDGE

    Defensive coordinator Roc Bellantoni returns a talented core of defenders, which should lead to an improved defense in 2024. The Owls were fairly average in most statistical categories, and they’re hoping this unit takes steps with that returning talent.

    MORE: 2024 FAU Owls Football Roster

    Marlon Bradley is 6’4″ and 240 pounds and has the skill set to be a disruptor this year. Bradley notched four tackles for loss and three sacks as a solid contributor to the rotation last year. With a few players departing, his role ramps up more this year, and that could mean exciting things for the Owls.

    6) Marlyn Johnson, WR

    The Owls finished 79th in passing offense last year, and that needs to change if the rushing attack (110th in 2023) doesn’t improve. It wouldn’t hurt to bring in a big receiver, and Herman’s staff found a sleeper in Marlyn Johnson.

    The Buffalo Bulls transfer is 6’4″ and 200 pounds, giving the Owls size on the outside. The Bulls weren’t exactly electric through the air in 2023, but Johnson gave them a reliable target, catching 40 passes for 494 yards and four touchdowns and should improve upon those numbers in a more explosive system.

    5) Federico Maranges, OC

    Herman found success at his previous stops with quality offensive line play, and the Owls hope they see that in 2024. Federico Maranges played his first full season as a starter in 2023, and returns to lead a unit that will dictate their success.

    Maranges was an honorable mention All-AAC selection by College Football Network last year.

    4) Desmond Tisdol, LB

    A bright spot for the Owls last year was their ability to get in the opposing team’s backfield, and they should do that again this year. They finished 21st in the country in tackles for loss, and they return much of that talent this year.

    Desmond Tisdol recorded 71 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks, but he’s ready to put together an even more impressive season. The loss of Evan Anderson at defensive tackle hurts, but the Owls have the talent on the edge and at linebacker to help mitigate his loss.

    3) Daedae Hill, S

    The Owls featured several talented defensive backs in the past few years, but Daedae Hill has the talent to be the best of the group. While he isn’t the biggest safety at 5’10” and 190 pounds, he’s shown the ability to be a ballhawk on the back end of this defense. With teams focusing most of their attention on the Owls’ front, Hill could thrive on the back end.

    2) Milan Tucker, WR

    If you have an explosive year on limited targets, there’s a good chance you’ll be even more dynamic and productive when given more opportunities. FAU needs more explosive plays this year, and they’ve got a guy who will help in that regard in Milan Tucker.

    KEEP READING: 2024 AAC Weekly Football Schedule 

    Tucker caught just 23 passes for Appalachian State in 2023 but averaged 23.8 yards per catch. Surprisingly, he didn’t get in the end zone despite that explosive average. He’s looking to remedy that this year, and he’s hoping that his three seasons of averaging more than 20 yards a catch turns into a monster year.

    1) Jackson Ambush, LB

    What an elite name for an edge defender. Jackson Ambush looks to do exactly that this year: ambush the opponent. He posted 89 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss, but he’s ready to put up even better numbers in 2024.

    He’s undersized at 5’11”, but he’s proven the ability to make plays despite that limitation. Teams can’t focus too much attention on him, either, as the returning talent around him thins out the resources needed to keep the Owls’ defense at bay.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

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