Boca Raton, FL (SunSentinel.com) - Defensive Coordinator Kurt Van Valkenburgh confirmed that FAU is going to change from a 4-3 to a 3-4.
(For those not into the Xs and Os, that means they will use three defensive linemen and four linebackers).
Big news for a team that under old-school Howard Schnellenberger viewed change as something that was toxic and best avoided.
That explains why FAU is targeting linebackers in this recruiting class, like Ocala Vangaurd's Marcus Hagins.
Hagins was attracted by the chance to maybe play right away, which VanV said was a possiblity.
"We probably may press some young guys into action, but we are excited about the change," VanV said.
Here are the three reasons FAU is changing, according to VanV:
1. It puts more speed on the field. The Owls have been confounded by the spread offenses they see week in and week out, and this is a way to try and do better against it.
2. It allows them to disguise their blitzes better. With the 4-3, offenses were able to read the Owls blitzes and prepare for them.
3. It is just too hard to find enough quality defensive linemen to make the 4-3 work effectively. "There are a lot more linebacker type bodies in South Florida," VanV said.
VanV said he had been thinking about the change for several years, and that he and The Voice decided that this was the time to make the change.
"We are excited about the change. It will allow us to be even more aggressive and really puts the onus on the offense," VanV said.