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FAU defensive back Christian Milstead signed with Navy out of Camden County (Ga.) High School. (Photo courtesy of Owl Pix)

 Owl Pix

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At ease

After signing with Navy out of high school, FAU defensive back Christian Milstead is excited about returning to Annapolis, Md. for Saturday's game against the Midshipmen.

Originally published on 11/1/2012

by Marcus Nelson

BOCA RATON - It doesn't take long to see that the U.S. Naval Academy is different from most colleges.

FAU redshirt junior defensive back Christian Milstead sure noticed after he signed with the Midshipmen out of high school.

After a year at Navy's prep school, Milstead came to FAU and will be making his return to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium when the Owls play Navy at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Milstead has been talking with some of his old teammates this week.

“I'm definitely excited and I've been talking with some of the guys up there that came in with me at Navy,” Milstead said. “They are already talking some noise, but just a little bit.”

Milstead signed with Navy out of Camden County (Ga.) High School where he played quarterback and defensive back.

Like many incoming freshman at Navy, Milstead was assigned to the Naval Academy Prep School in Rhode Island where he played for one season opting for a more traditional college environment instead of one basesd on military principles.

"It just wasn't a fit for me,” Milstead said. “I was nervous because it is different from most schools. When I got there it took me a long time to get adjusted to it. I just felt like it wasn't the right fit for me as a player or as a person.”

One of Milstead's high school coaches knew he might be a good fit for the Owls and Milstead transferred to FAU in 2010. Milstead saw playing time last season and this year is backing up nickelback Cre'von LeBlanc and has 14 tackles, including one for a loss.

LeBlanc has been injured this week and may not play on Saturday, but because Navy doesn't throw very often in its triple-option, Milstead's best chance at playing time this week will be on special teams.

“It doesn't matter if its defense or special teams, I'm just excited about it,” Milstead said.

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Breakdown Box

Pelini sees boost in recruiting

BOCA RATON – More than 200 recruits were in attendance for FAU's 34-27 victory against Troy on Saturday and Owls coach Carl Pelini is hoping they enjoyed themselves and the outcome of the game.

“It helped that we had 200 recruits there,” Pelini said. “Recruits were excited and that helps.”

Recruiting for 2013 has been going well, Pelini said, but he is hoping that winning for the second time this season will show some recruits the program is improving.

“Not surprisingly - because our coaches work so hard at it - I think we've been very well received on the recruiting trail and we are really putting together a solid class,” Pelini said. “But it's like the same old thing. I'll equate it to when coach Schnellenberger was promising a new stadium and had some recruiting momentum and won a couple of championships. But suddenly there was no new stadium and how long can you keep singing that same song before people start questioning you.

“Now there's a new coach with a vision for the future. High school coaches and high school players are buying in to that vision and what we can do here , but how long can you sing that tune before people start saying 'show some evidence of it.' The more wins we get, the more my vision starts to sell itself.”

Pelini hopes winning Saturday's game will not only attract more prospects, but more fans as well.

“Filling that stadium won’t be hard but we’ve got to give them a product and a reason to come out and a certain entertainment value,” Pelini said. “As we have more games like we had the other night, they’ll start to come.”

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