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Derek Butcher shows off his newly-signed National Letter of Intent on Wedensday.

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Signs of the times

Updated 4:46 p.m. Johnson, Butcher, Lyons sign with FAU. Geroux will not. FAU still waiting on one more.

Originally published on 12/19/2012

by Chuck King

Florida Atlantic has received signed National Letters of Intent from Quez Johnson and Derek Butcher, and Braden Lyons on this, the first day of the mid-year junior college signing period. Now the Owls will wait to see whether Rodney “Lucky” Whitehead joins them.

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 also in the running for the services of Dean Junior College wide receiver Rodney “Lucky” Whitehead, who has a ceremony scheduled for 7 p.m. It is believed that in recent days Whitehead narrowed his choices to Connecticut and FAU.

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. 

Every player who signs with FAU today is expected to enroll in January.

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