FAU’s starting running back made his return to the active roster versus Western Kentucky after missing the last two games, but the team’s leading rusher didn’t play in Saturday’s game.
BJ Emmons was available for Florida Atlantic versus the Hilltoppers while Malcolm Davidson didn’t suit against Western Kentucky Saturday at FAU Stadium.
Emmons didn’t play in FAU’s loss to Marshall (Oct. 24) or win versus UTSA last weekend after sustaining a sprained ankle during the first quarter of the Owls' win against Charlotte on Oct. 3.
The senior tailback practiced the entire week preceding the FAU-Western Kentucky matchup. He had four carries for 13 yards versus the 49ers.
Davidson, FAU’s leading rusher on the season, missed Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury.
The junior running back had season highs of 115 rushing yards and 14 attempts (8.2 yards per carry) in the win over UTSA for the fourth 100-yard rushing game of his FAU career.
FAU coach Willie Taggart expected Davidson to play a larger role in the offense — especially with sophomore running back Larry McCammon out for the season — going forward after limited action in the Owls' first two games. He’s rushed for 195 yards on 26 carries (7.5 yards per attempt) on the season.
Davidson’s been FAU’s most productive running back over the last two seasons. He led the Owls in rushing attempts (102), yards (711) and touchdowns (nine) in 2019.
“He has really good vision and the biggest thing is his patience,” Taggart said of Davidson earlier in the week. “He sets the blocks up and allows them to happen, and then he puts his foot in the ground and goes. He’s been slippery when trying to be tackled. He doesn’t run with the same physicality you see with some folks. He’s more smooth and slashy with it, and sometimes he just runs through tackles. The stronger he gets and when he really starts running through tackle, the kid will have a hell of a future ahead of him.”
The Owls were expecting to lean on Emmons and redshirt senior running back James Charles due to Davidson and McCammon’s absences.
FAU lost the commitment from a four-star quarterback leading into Saturday’s matchup.
Shedeur Sanders, son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, announced on social media Friday evening that he de-committed from the Owls' 2021 recruiting class to join his father at Jackson State.
The elder Sanders took over the coaching reins at Jackson State in September.
“I couldn’t pass up [an] opportunity to help level the playing field [and] pursue equality for HBCU’s!," Sanders wrote in a tweet. “Dad I got your back!”
Sanders, who’s a senior at Trinity Christian School (Cedar Hill, Texas), is ranked as the No. 12 pocket-passing quarterback in the 2021 class by ESPN and the No. 14 pro-style quarterback recruit by 247 Sports.
Sanders committed to FAU in mid-July and would’ve been the Owls' highest-rated recruit based on 247 Sports composite score (0.9148) in the website’s database if he signed with the program.
Redshirt junior Nick Tronti is FAU’s starting quarterback after Chris Robison’s departure from the program. Redshirt freshman Javion Posey and true freshman Willie Taggart Jr. are two underclassmen quarterbacks currently with the Owls.
They don’t have another quarterback committed to the program in their 2021 recruiting class.
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