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FAU Football Spring Preview: Tight Ends

Nexon Dorvilus (301 yards, 5 TDs) - RS Senior
Alex Deleon (77 yards, 1 TD) - RS Junior
Anthony Russell - RS Freshman
Michael Harrop - Senior

Darion Howard (transfer)- RS Senior

On the Way:
Dustin Bowens

-Stats are from last season.

Overview: Tight end has traditionally been a strength for Florida Atlantic, and that should continue next season. Redshirt senior Nexon Dorvilus (pictured above) returns as the teamís third leading receiver, having hauled in 30 passes for 301 yards. His five touchdowns were the highest of any player on the team and tied for the most by a tight end in the Sun Belt Conference last season. In the shadows of Dorvilus is redshirt junior Alex Deleon, who has quietly found his own niche in the office. Deleon started five games last season and had a career outing against Alabama catching four passes for 24 yards and a touchdown. With FAU often using multiple tight end sets, Dorvilus and Deleon will form a duo that brings experience and athletic ability to the offense. Terrell Mitchell, the squadís third tight end from last season, will not participate in spring drills, but could return in the fall. His absence should open the door for another player to move up the depth chart, and that individual could either be Darion Howard or Anthony Russell. Howard transferred from Northern Iowa and impressed coaches last season on the scout team, while Russell took a redshirt. Walk-on Michael Harrop was honored for his efforts as the offensive scout team player of the year.

Player on the Spot: - Nexon Dorvilus - Dorvilus is in position to be one of the top tight ends in the conference next season, but that doesn't mean there isnít room for improvement. If he wants to follow in the foot steps of former FAU players such as Rob Housler and Jason Harmon, Dorvilus needs to continue his production. A strong spring camp would be the first step in that direction.

Remember the Name: - Darion Howard - Howard is a player that many Owls fans probably arenít familiar with. The redshirt senior joined FAUís program last year after off-the-field issues at Northern Iowa. He practiced with the scout team, and faired well as a pass-catcher and blocker. With the need for a third tight end, Howard could very well be the answer.  

Key Stat: - 6 - Dorvilus and Deleon combined for six touchdowns on nine receptions in the redzone last season. If you want to talk about efficiency near the goal line, FAUís tight ends are nearly automatic.

Forecast: It wouldnít be surprising if Dorvilus earned some preseason recognition, as he has all the tools to become one of the top tight ends in Conference-USA. He should mold into the second or third option in the passing game, while Deleon will continue his role as a situational plug. The focus this spring should revolve around finding reliable backups to the starters. Both Russell and Howard should get plenty of opportunities in practice to prove they can block and become vertical threats.

Up Next: Offensive Line


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