When with the Seattle Seahawks, running back Marshawn Lynch brought to sports the term “Beast Mode,” using it to describe a state of play in which his inner beast takes over performance, leading to super-human feats on the field. To help get FAU fans through the summer doldrums while also offering a trip down memory lane, we’ve undertaken our Number of the Beast series aimed at determining the best football player to wear each number for FAU. The Beast at some numbers is easy to define. Taming the Beasts at others is more difficult than FAU fans might think.
1. Brittney Tellis, WR, 2001-04. The knee-jerk reaction here is Lucky Whitehead, whose 706 receiving yards and six TDs is arguably the best single season of anyone to wear numero uno. But that was really Whitehead’s only strong season – good enough to earn an All-Conference USA selection in 2014. Tellis notched more than 1,500 receiving yards during his career, hits 739 career punt return yards are the most of anyone to ever wear an FAU uniform and his 75-yard return for a TD against Albany in 2001 remains the longest return in FAU history. And yes, current defensive back Ocie Rose is knocking on the door here.
2. Brandin Bryant, DT, 2013-15. If not for injuries, this likely would have been a no-brainer. Bryant recorded 51 tackles in 2013 and 35 tackles in 2015 when he was named FAU’s Comeback Player of the Year. Bryant recorded 13.5 career sacks – fourth most all-time among Owls – while overcoming two knee injuries and is currently a member of the New York Jets. Current LB Azeez Al-Shaair already has surpassed Bryant’s tackle totals and is poised to claim No. 2 for his own.
3. Lestar Jean, WR, 2007-10. An epic one-handed catch on a 77-yard touchdown against UAB in 2010 was perhaps the most memorable of Jean’s 146 career receptions – second most among Owls. His 1,992 receiving yards are the third most in FAU history. After leaving FAU, Jean played two season with the Houston Texans. Choosing between Jean and former cornerback Keith Reaser wasn’t easy but, hey, was three the only number Reaser wore?
4. Adarius Glanton, LB, 2012-13. He only played two seasons at FAU but still tallied 150 tackles, including 13.5 for a loss. Running back Anthony Jackson Anthony rushed for 1,349 yards and eight TDs in the program’s early days and added 1,762 kickoff return yards. Glanton is currently on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster, and he gets the nod here by the slimmest of margins.
5. Doug Parker, RB, 2001-04. Parker was the primary running back in the Owls’ inaugural season and his 1,981 career rushing yards are the third most in program history. His 25 career touchdowns are the second most among Owls. As impressive as Parker’s career was, this time next year he may be surpassed by the current No. 5, Devin Singletary, who set a FAU freshman records with 1,021 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns while only playing about half a season. As for Tavious Polo – one good season simply isn’t good enough for this number.
6. Kerrith Whyte, RB/KR, 2015-current. Had we named this beast one year ago the choice would have been former wide receiver/kick returner Frantz Simeon. But Simeon only played two seasons, tallying 1,121 all-purpose yards. In his first season with FAU Whyte raced to 1,002 kickoff return yards – the second best such season in program history. Whyte also rushed for 145 yards and caught five passes. The future of FAU’s return game is Whyte hot.
7. Cre’von LeBlanc, CB, 2011-15. LeBlanc’s statistics – 180 tackles, six interceptions over four seasons – don’t exactly jump off the page. The biggest reason for the low interception numbers are that opposing quarterbacks stopped throwing his way. LeBlanc’s 23 career pass breakups are third most among Owls, and his 671 kickoff return yards are the sixth most in FAU history. He was a second-team All=Conference USA selection in 2015. LeBlanc’s the choice over former wide receiver Chris Bonner – a key cog in FAU’s bowl teams.
8. Daniel McKinney, WR, 2012-13. Fullbacks B. J. Manley and Xavier Stinson received consideration, but McKinney is the choice here. His average of 4.22 receptions per game is the second best average in an FAU career. McKinney tallied 1,112 receiving yards in his two seasons at FAU.
9. Buddy Howell, RB, 2014-current. Howell set a program record by rushing for 13 touchdowns in a season last year. He’s scored 17 times in his three seasons. And he’s rushed for 1,679 yards – fourth most among FAU ball carriers – in his career despite battling injuries. Yes, defensive end Trey Hendrickson wore No. 9 at one point, but we’re fine with Buddy as No. 9.
10. Quincy Skinner, CB, 2002-05. With nine interceptions, Skinner is tied for fourth on the FAU career list with D’Joun Smith and Taheem Acevedo. Skinner recorded 75 tackles in 2003 – fourth most among Owls that season. His 20 career pass breakups are third most among FAU players. Can current Owl Herb Miller surpass him?
FAU Number of the Beast: 1-10
FAU Number of the Beast: 11-20
FAU Number of the Beast: 21-30
FAU Number of the Beast: 31-40
FAU Number of the Beast: 41-50
FAU Number of the Beast: 51-60
FAU Number of the Beast: 61-70
FAU Number of the Beast: 71-80
FAU Number of the Beast: 81-90
FAU Number of the Beast: 91-99