FAU tight end Nexon Dorvilus pulls in a pass at practice on Thursday. (Owl Access Photo)
Tight battle at tight end
FAU tight ends Nexon Dorvilus and Alex DeLeon are still in a tight battle for the starting spot.
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BOCA RATON – No one is running away with the starting tight end job at Florida Atlantic just yet. The competition for the starting tight end spot has been nearly dead even, according to tight ends coach Jared Allen, and is likely to last through training camp.
Redshirt junior Nexon Dorvilus, who saw significant playing time last season, is battling redshirt junior Alex DeLeon for the starting role. Dorvilus said that both are pushing each other to be get better.
Dorvilus spent the offseason working on catching passes, working with the quarterbacks and pretty much anything he could do in preparation for camp.
Allen is pleased with how both Dorvilus and DeLeon have looked and likes what the competition has brought out in his players.
“Competition breeds excellence, in my opinion. It pushes guys,” Allen said. “I think as they’ve pushed each other through camp they’ve kind of gone back-and-forth and that’s kept guys away from being complacent.”
Dorvilus saw playing time in every game last season and started three games. He said that experience gives him an advantage as the competition rolls on through camp.
“It got me acclimated to the game, game speed and how to prepare for weekly opponents,” he said. “Just preparing so I can go into the game with confidence and swagger."
The switch from a pro-style attack to a spread offense implemented in coach Carl Pelini’s reign calls for the tight ends to be more versatile in the new scheme. Dorvilus said it’s a bit of a challenge, but he’s adapting to it quite nicely.
“The tempo is real different, we’re asked to do a lot more pass blocking," Dorvilus said. " We’ve got to be more versatile, kind of like in our old offense. They’ve added on a little more every day.”
While Dorvilus is confident that can have an impact on this offense he isn’t letting that steer him from his goal this season. Regardless of the role he plays he wants to be a leader for this team.
“Just to be someone these guys can look up to and say, ‘he’s working hard.’ Someone to really contribute to this team,” he said.
Hard Knocks at The Ox: Thursday's Training Camp Report
- Making Plays: RB Tony Moore started off slow in training camp, but has made some plays lately making things interesting at running back.
- Stepping Up: WR William Dukes was limited in practice on Thursday, but he'd better get back in a hurry because Marcus Cunningham and Byron Hankerson are impressing the coaching staff.
- Newcomer Watch: CB Timothy Haynes has put together a few solid practices and could be knocking on the door on cracking the rotation there.
- Instant Message: “They are both learning the offense, they are both executing and they are both making plays.”
- FAU coach Carl Pelini on QBs Graham Wilbert and Stephen Curtis
who are getting the same amount of snaps in practice
- Up Next: The Owls are back on the practice field for a “two-a-day” session on Friday. Practices begin at 9:30 a.m. With another workout at 6:30 p.m.
- Compiled by Marcus Nelson