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Rodney "Lucky" Whitehead spurned UConn to sign with FAU on Wednesday. (Photo by Gabe Lincoln)

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Lucky number four

Whitehead, Johnson, Butcher, Lyons sign with FAU on the opening day of the mid-year junior college signing period.

Originally published on 12/19/2012

by Chuck King

Florida Atlantic ended an already successful mid-year junior college signing day by getting Lucky.

Dean Junior College wide receiver Rodney “Lucky” Whitehead became the fourth player to sign with the Owls on Wednesday, doing so at a reception with his family.

Earlier in the day Quez Johnson, Derek Butcher, and Braden Lyons sent their National Letters of Intent to FAU.

A potential game breaker at wide receiver, Whitehead had narrowed his decision to FAU and Connecticut, but didn't want to announce his final choice until Wednesday. He caught 23 passes for 492 yards and three touchdowns while playing only seven games in 2012.

Johnson, NJCAA Region 23 Offensive MVP out of East Mississippi Community College, threw for 2,805 yards and 27 touchdowns this past season. He also rushed for 540 yards and scored 12 more times.

He signed at a ceremony at Starkville (Miss) High School, his alma mater.

“It felt good,” Johnson said. “I'm very excited. I'm ready to come in and work.”

Butcher, a defensive tackle from North Dakota College of Science, didn't have a ceremony but that didn't quash his excitement.

“It felt pretty good to finally know for sure where I am going next semester,” Butcher said. “It was good to be signed and official.”

A 6-foot-4 defensive tackle who attended high school in Minnesota, Butcher recorded three sacks among his 73 tackles.

Community College of San Francisco offensive lineman Braden Lyons signed his NLI at a 4 p.m. ceremony. A 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive tackle, Lyons chose FAU after originally committing to Texas-San Antonio.

The Owls are no longer pursuing Scottsdale Community College defensive back D.J. Geroux, who was previously thought to be signing with FAU today.

FAU had been holding out hope that Snow Community College offensive lineman Justin Manu might switch his commitment from North Texas to the Owls, but Manu reaffirmed his intent to sign with the Mean Green last night.

All of the players who signed on Wednesday are expected to enroll at FAU in January.

Wednesday was the first day of the mid-year junior college signing period. It is still possible that the Owls could add another player or two in the coming days.

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