Time to exit the trenches and move to the hands and wheels. 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. Here are numbers 81-90.
81. Rob Housler, TE, 2006-09. Caught 76 passes for 1,228 yards and eight touchdowns during his FAU career. His 599 receiving yards in 2010 were second on the Owls behind Lestar Jean. Housler was a second team All-Sun Belt selection that year, and shortly thereafter was drafted in the third round by the Arizona Cardinals. Housler gets the call over Dantson Dareus, who racked up 671 yards and four TDs in the program’s early years, and Blake Bierman- perhaps the only player in the history of football to go from wide receiver to holder to cheerleader to cheerleading coach. That has to count for something, right?
82. Casey McGahee, WR, 2003-06. McGahee did a bit of everything for FAU. His 793 all-purpose yards are the most for anyone to wear this number and include 452 receiving yards, 250 kick return yards and 42 rushing yards. He also wore number 7 at FAU and played some defensive back in his career. Karmin Solomon may have a shot at displacing McGahee here with a good season in 2017, but Solomon will do so while wearing number 15.
83. Ben Coker, TE, 2000-04. Coker only caught 22 passes during his career. Tough and competitive, Coker’s biggest contributions came as a run blocker, particularly in goal line and short yardage situations. FAU hasn’t enjoyed much production from number 83. Marcus Cunningham is probably the runner-up here.
84. Anthony Crissinger-Hill, TE, 2001-04. One of the most dynamic playmakers in program history, Crissinger-Hill’s 2,071 career receiving yards trails only Cortez Gent. His 4.81 receptions per game is the best average in FAU history, and Crissinger-Hill was virtually uncoverable in FAU’s 2004 victory over Hawaii, catching 15 passes for 183 yards. FAU named Crissinger-Hill its Offensive MVP in 2003 – the year the Owls reached the FCS semifinals. Tight end Alex Deleon caught seven touchdowns during his career, and Conshario Johnson tallied more than 400 receiving yards during his time with the Owls.
85. Darian Williams, TE, 2008-11. Williams recorded 616 receiving yards and five touchdowns during his time at FAU. He also scored the first FAU touchdown on Howard Schnellenberger Field. Plus, his dad provided the Michael Jackson soundtrack for FAU football practices. In the running for number 83, Marcus Cunningham also comes up second here. Current wide receiver John Mitchell has three years of eligibility remaining. He should be able to claim this number as his own with one good season.
86. Nexon Dorvilus, TE, 2010-13. Dorvilus’ 12 career touchdown receptions are sixth most in FAU history. He started his career wearing number 86 before switching to 9. Dorvilus caught 74 passes for 767 yards during four seasons and later became a graduate assistant on the Owls’ coaching staff.
87. Jamari Grant, TE, 2005-09. Grant’s credited with 1,208 receiving yards and seven touchdowns during his career and was a second-team All-Sun Belt selection in 2008. He recorded five catches in the 2008 Motor City Bowl but will most likely be remembered for his seven-catch, two-TD performance in the 2008 Shula Bowl, where he famous hugged the referee who was signaling the Grant TD catch that sent the game into overtime. FAU eventually won that game.
88. Jason Harmon, TE, 2005-09. A freakishly athletic tight end famous for leaping defenders in a single open-field bound, Harmon’s 138 career catches are third most in program history. His 1,745 career receiving yards are sixth most. Harmon caught seven passes for 97 yards and a touchdown in the New Orleans Bowl victory, and was an All-Sun Belt performer in 2007 and 2009. Harmon gets our selection over a couple of terrific receivers. Jenson Stoshak is fourth on FAU’s career receiving yardage list (1,885 yards) and fifth on FAU’s career reception list (132). He spent the beginning of the summer with Saskatchewan of the CFL. Thomas Parker had more than 1,500 receiving yards along with 10 touchdowns early in the program’s history.
89. Derek Moise, WR, 2011-15. Injuries cut short Moise’s career. He caught 20 passes in 2011 and 10 more in 2014, when he switched to jersey No. 4. Moise caught two TDs during his career, one against Arkansas St. in 2011 and the second against Tulsa in 2014. There is surprisingly little to choose from here. Moise is the choice over Tito Pollice and Nick Osborne. Walk-on wide receiver Daunte Cousart currently wears No. 89.
90. William Gray, DL, 2001-04. Expected this to go to recent graduate Shalom Ogbonda, but Gray’s career was simply more impactful. Gray recorded 98 tackles, including 20.5 for loss during his career. Gray’s three sacks against Bethune-Cookman in 2002 is tied for the second-most in a game in FAU history, and only six times has a player recorded more than the five sacks in a season Gray tallied in 2003. Ogbonda’s 105 tackles are seven more than Gray tallied, but Gray has more than twice as many tackles for loss. Ogbonda received a tryout with the New York Jets following a strong finish to his senior season and is still hoping to catch on with an NFL team.
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