BOCA RATON – Considering all the South Florida talent that’s raced through FAU’s football program, the Owls really haven’t produced many standout wide receivers. Only two have played NFL downs, with one reaching the League primarily as a special teams player.
Following FAU football’s best season in program history, and with about a month to kill before the start of fall camp, this seems like a good time to reflect on past football seasons and players. Ultimately those thoughts led to a fun question: Who are the five best FAU players at each position in program history?
While considering the best of the best at FAU, players were judged on their performance (statistics), what they meant to their team and sheer physical talent. As part of our research for this list we consulted with former players, former coaches and media members who’ve covered the Owls. Reaching the NFL is an indicator of talent, but players who played professionally weren’t necessarily placed above some who didn’t.
For the purposes of this list, we wide outs and slots were all lumped into one category.
With that in mind, let’s get to the list.
5. Kalib Woods (2013-17): A strong finish to his FAU career allowed Woods to race to 2,106 career receiving yards – second most in program history. Had he not been suspended for the first half of his senior season following his arrest on two charges of felony battery, Woods probably would have exited FAU as its career leader in that category. No wide receiver benefited more from Lane Kiffin’s first year at FAU. His 10 career TD receptions are a little light, however, barely cracking FAU’s Top 10. Woods edges Jenson Stoshak (now playing arena football), Lucky Whitehead (who’s name is surprisingly difficult to find in the FAU record book) and Chris Bonner. Daniel McKinney needed one more season as an Owl. With another year like his freshman season, Willie Wright could jump into this spot – or higher.
4. William Dukes (2011-14): Dukes was the deep threat on some truly awful offensive football teams. He was the guy every defensive coordinator had to account for. Dukes missed much of his freshman year after injuring himself in a preseason scrimmage, running through the end zone and crashing into a marketing tent placed too close to the field. Dukes rebounded to catch 125 passes in his career, 11 of which were touchdowns.
3. Roosevelt Bynes (2003-04): Bynes only played two seasons at FAU, but when he was on the field he was a difference maker. A big-play target for Jared Allen during the 2003 run to the FCS quarterfinals, nine of Bynes 47 catches that year went for scores. The Pitt transfer’s 13 career touchdowns tie for third most in program history. Bynes averaged 19.64 yards per catch in his career, which still leads that category. While his two-touchdown performance against Northern Arizona in the FCS quarterfinals pushed the Owls to the semis, Bynes will always be remembered for his first two-TD game, which ended spectacularly with a 62-yard catch from Allen on the final play of the game to stun Middle Tennessee – giving FAU its first victory over an FBS school.
2. Lestar Jean (2007-10): Known as “Lester” during his time as an Owl, Jean’s name reverted to his proper “Lestar” upon embarking on his NFL career. Jean is the lone former FAU wide receiver to play in the NFL based solely on his wide receiver skills. Tall and fast, Jean’s second all-time in receptions (146) and receiving TDs (15), and third in receiving yards (1,992). Jean played in 27 games over two seasons for the Houston Texans, but FAU fans will always remember Jean’s epic one-handed 77-yard touchdown catch at UAB in the opening game of the 2010 season.
1. Cortez Gent (2005-09): Pick an FAU receiving category and Gent either leads it or sits close to the top. The lead receiver during FAU’s first two bowl years, Gent set the bar high with 162 receptions for to 2,491 yards and 20 touchdowns in his career. He’s the only FAU wide receiver ever to top the 1,000 yard mark in a season, tallying 1,082 in 2007. He owns two seasons with nine touchdowns catches. All other FAU receivers combined have one – that coming from Bynes in 2003.
FAU Football Top 5 Position Countdown
- Running Backs
- Wide Receivers
- Tight Ends
- Interior Linemen
- Defensive Ends
- Defensive Tackles
- Middle Linebackers
- Outside Linebackers
- Special Teams