Boca Raton - There is no loser for the Owls in the battle for the starting tight end job.
If Jamari Grant gets it, FAU will have a 6-foot-5, 215-pound
senior who was the second leading receiver last season with
45 catches for 642 yards.
If Jason Harmon wins out, the Owls will have back the 6-3,
215-pound senior who was the second leading receiver in 2007
with 63 catches for 825 yards.
And no matter who starts, both Harmon and Grant will see
plenty of action, including being on the field at the same
time when the Owls go their two-tight end set.
"The person with the best chance for us to win the game will
be on the field," said Grant, who took over for Harmon, who
was sidelined all of 2008 recovering from knee surgery.
"It's all about how you do in camp. Basically it will come
down to who makes the least amount of mistakes," Harmon
In FAU's offense, the tight end is often the first option,
making it a position critical.
In those seasons when FAU has not had a dominant tight end,
the offense has struggled.
Harmon became a starter in 2007 and the offense had a record
3,784 passing yards, up from 2,255 the previous season.
But it was Grant who was named the to the Sun Belt preseason
first team at tight end.
Harmon, who is best-known for the "Harmon Hop, his signature
move of hurdling defenders, gets a big smile when asked
about the why FAU tight ends get so many balls thrown their
"I love catching the ball especially against linebackers
because they aren't fast enough to keep up so basically it
is a mismatch all day inside," he said.
Howard Schnellenberger said those expecting Harmon to
get his old job back might be surprised.
"Grant was pretty special last season, and he is even better
now that he has got control of his body. Don't get me wrong,
I would be happy to play the whole season with Harmon, but
Grant is not going to hand it to him," Schnellenberger said.
Grant said he spent the offseason strengthening his core.
"It does help me control my body. I had a bad habit of
stumbling and falling after a catch and giving up yards I
could have gotten," Grant said.
Schnellenberger said a third tight end, sophomore Darian
Williams (6-3, 195), will push Harmon and Grant.
"He's the strongest of the three now and can come down on a
defensive end or tackle and has enough speed to get into the
secondary and cause problems. He will stretch the safeties,"