Posted: 3:22 pm Sunday, January 29th, 2012

FAU recruiting notes: Crouse commits, Pelini responds, LeBlanc visits 

By Matt Porter

He didn’t see much of the spotlight, but American Heritage’s Arthur Crouse was a key part of one of the area’s most successful offenses.

FAU saw enough in Crouse (6-6, 250, No. 62 on the Big Board) to offer him a scholarship. Crouse committed to the Owls on Sunday.

The offensive tackle was one of several outstanding linemen on the Stallions’ state championship team, which featured star junior Greg Bryant. He joins teammate Jeremy Gaskins, a running back who last month committed to the Owls.

Crouse chose the Owls over offers from Bowling Green, Eastern Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State and Delaware.

He was an All-Area second-team selection last season. He was an honorable mention in 2010 after transferring from Berean Christian.

FAU now has verbal commitments from five local players: Forest Hill receiver Mikey Bullard, Fort Pierce Westwood lineman Inuka Rhaheed, Fort Pierce Central linebacker Freedom Whitfield, Gaskins and Crouse.

Owls no safety school: In a radio interview Friday, Pelini said he won’t apologize for wanting to raise the bar at FAU, which went 1-11 last season.

The Owls coach told ESPN 760 he has a “clear conscience” about his new program’s dealings with area recruits and coaches. Three spurned recruits and their coaches expressed their frustration last week with Pelini after they were told they were no longer wanted by the Owls.

“We gave every guy on our board an evaluation and then ranked them. We have been very honest, very up front, very open,” Pelini said.

Click here to listen to the entire 11-minute interview.

LeBlanc visits: While Glades Central safety Crevon LeBlanc’s future has been clouded because of off-the-field trouble, FAU made it clear it wants him.

The Owls offered the two-time All-Area honoree and brought him in for a visit Saturday.

LeBlanc was suspended in November for violating Glades Central’s student conduct code. He sat three playoff games, including the Raiders’ loss to Miami Norland in the Class 5A regional finals.

LeBlanc shined in one of the area’s best defenses. A hard-hitting, ball-hawking safety with excellent instincts and speed, he was a first-team All-Area pick as a junior and senior.

Marshall verbally offered LeBlanc before his senior season, but it’s unclear if that offer currently stands.