BOCA RATON – Despite being a relative newbie in the college football world, FAU has already shown a knack for developing productive tight ends. The legacy began in the program’s first year and continues through today.
While the spread offense is quickly turning the tight end into an endangered species in college football, FAU still relies on them heavily when the offense operates at the best of its ability.
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.
With that in mind, let’s get to the list.
FAU Top 5 Tight Ends
5. Nexon Dorvilus (2009-13): His tenure began in the Howard Schnellenberger era and lasted through the Carl Pelini era. Dorvilus proved productive in both systems, allowing him to earn second-team All-Conference USA honors in 2012. He caught 72 passes for 740 yards in four years. Dorvilus’ 12 receiving touchdowns are tied for fifth most in program history. And Dorvilus was a complete tight end who was an effective run blocker, too. Harrison Bryant (pictured above) is closing in on this spot. If he remains healthy Bryant, playing in Lane Kiffin’s system, should be able to pass Dorvilus statistically.
4. Jamari Grant (2005-2009): Caught exactly 100 passes in his college career, covering 1,208 yards – with 624 of those yards coming in 2008 when Grant was named second team All-Sun Belt. Grant caught seven touchdowns in his career, with the most memorable one coming in the closing seconds of regulation in the 2008 Shula Bowl – a diving grab that tied the game at 50. After that catch Grant famously hugged the first person he could find. That happened to be the official standing next to him, whose arms were extended above his head signaling touchdown.
3. Rob Housler (2006-10): Speed was at the heart of Housler’s game. At the time, his 68-yard TD run on a reverse against FIU in 2007 was the longest touchdown run in program history. Housler was a big play weapon down the middle of the field. He caught 76 passes for 1,228 yards during his career, with eight of those receptions going for touchdowns. The Arizona Cardinals made Housler the Owls’ then highest-drafted player in 2010 by selecting him in the third round. Housler played five seasons in the NFL.
2. Anthony Crissinger-Hill (2001-04): Truth be told, Crissinger-Hill was a wide receiver playing tight end. And if considered only as a wide receiver, Crissinger-Hill would have made that Top 5 list, too. His 128 catches are sixth most in program history. Only Cortez Gent, Kalib Woods and Lestar Jean have more than the 1,936 receiving yards Crissinger-Hill amassed in his career. FAU named Crissinger-Hill its Offensive MVP in 2003 and the guys who played with him constantly mention his name as one of FAU’s all-time greats, regardless of position. Plus, Crissinger-Hill had one of the greatest individual performances in program history, catching 15 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns in the Owls’ 2004 overtime upset of Hawaii.
1. Jason Harmon (2005-09): The best overall athlete to play the position for FAU, Harmon’s 138 receptions are the most by an FAU tight end. Those catches covered 1,745 yards – seventh best in FAU history and behind only Crissinger-Hill among tight ends. And Harmon’s catches came in the FBS era. Harmon’s 13 career TDs tie for the third most in FAU history, and he was an All-Sun Belt selection in 2007 and again in 2009. A freakish athlete with the ball in his hands, Harmon’s signature move was hurdling potential open-field tacklers who tried to go low to bring him to the ground. Possessing enough size to be a factor blocking in the running game, Harmon participated in Jacksonville’s camp following his graduation.
FAU Football Top 5 Position Countdown
- Running Backs
- Wide Receivers
- Tight Ends
- Interior Linemen
- Defensive Ends
- Defensive Tackles
- Middle Linebackers
- Outside Linebackers
- Special Teams