Kain Daub is easy to spot on the football fields behind Florida Atlantic’s Tom Oxley Athletic Center. There’s his size: a 6-foot-4 frame with 240 pounds hanging off it. There’s his hair: his long dreadlocks frequently obscure the “34” on the back of his jersey.
And, of course, he’s new.
Daub, a former Florida State linebacker, practiced for the first time with the Owls on Tuesday morning, continuing a steady string of new additions to the FAU program. Since Friday, FAU has held four practices. Three have featured new players, including the additions of offensive lineman Zach Stefo and linebacker Joe Pohiva.
But Daub’s arrival dwarfs both Stefo and Pohiva’s. Daub was a four-star recruit coming out of Jacksonville Sandalwood in 2014. 247 Sports ranked him as the No. 73 player in the country and the No. 4 inside linebacker.
His offer list was a who’s who of college football: Alabama, LSU, Miami, Auburn, Florida, Ohio State. But he chose Florida State.
Daub redshirted in 2014 at Florida State before transferring in March 2015. He spent two seasons with the junior college ASA New York before joining the Owls this fall. He also attended FAU’s June 5 camp in Boca Raton, which included Michigan and Oregon.
At FAU, coach Lane Kiffin said the staff would have to figure out a position for Daub. He spent time during individual drills with the linebackers. During team periods, he worked with the defensive line.
“We got to kind of figure him out, obviously,” Kiffin said. “Very good skill set, length, size-speed ratio. We had him in camp, saw him move around. Really the best that’s he’s moved in years, talking to people that have had him before.
“Good to see, and we’ll figure out where we play him. He’s a special skill set, we just got to figure out where it best fits with what we already have.”
At ASA New York, Daub totaled 47 tackles, two sacks and nine tackles for loss. Kiffin said Daub was cleared to practice either late Monday night or early Tuesday morning before the Owls’ 9 a.m. practice.
“So he’s out here scrambling,” Kiffin said.
Daub’s addition underscores the drastic change Kiffin has made to FAU’s roster since taking over as Owls coach. Thirty players on FAU’s spring game roster are not on the Owls’ preseason roster. Some are missing for disciplinary reasons, some cleared scholarships and others created space on the 105-man roster.
The Owls still may add more players. Former Pitt defensive lineman Jeremiah Taleni was previously listed on the FAU preseason roster and may end up in Boca Raton. Three members of FAU’s signing class have not practiced yet with the Owls, all junior college signees: linebacker Carson Lydon and defensive backs Rodney Washington and Jovon Burriss.
Kiffin compared the roster turnover to an NFL team.
“This is what it’s like, guys coming in, waiver wire,” Kiffin said. “Coming in and creating more competition. We’ve told the guys from the beginning when they got here, spring was big for them because we were going to have guys and not just have them signed but we’re going to always be in a process of trying to do the best thing for our program, for our roster.”
-- USA Today released predictions for all 130 FBS teams on Tuesday. The newspaper pegged FAU for 5-7 overall, and 3-5 in Conference USA. The Owls would finish fourth in the East Division according to those predictions, one spot ahead of FIU. FAU finished 3-9 the past three seasons.
USA Today picked Western Kentucky and Louisiana Tech to win their respective divisions.