Boca Raton - Before Saturday's first scrimmage of Florida Atlantic's preseason camp, senior wide receiver Cortez Gent said the offense had high expectations, "and it would be a shame if we don't live up to those."

Well, the offense got thumped 35-24 by the defense in that scrimmage and did not look like a unit that has eight returning starters and nine seniors.

If the offense is going to snap back in this Saturday's FanFest scrimmage, expect Gent to be involved in the resurrection.

Gent was one of 38 players recently named to the The Biletnikoff Award watch list that goes to the top collegiate receiver.

That is after Gent (6-2, 185) was FAU's leading receiver in 2007 (1,082 yards) and 2008 (935 yards), leaving him 104 yards shy of the career record.

This is the fifth year Gent and quarterback Rusty Smith have been together, with both starting out on the scout team and redshirting their freshmen year.

Both saw some action in 2006, but had breakout years in 2007 as sophomores.

They have a chance of going to their third straight bowl game if FAU can win at least seven games this season.

"We want to be considered the best class ever," Gent said.

Gent is a possession-style receiver who does not blow past defenders with speed, but runs precise routes that provide separation, and he also has been with Smith long enough to know where to go when plays break down.

"I know where to go and he knows where to find me," Gent said.

Gent has matured a lot since he came to campus from the small town of Chiefland as a freshman in 2005.

"My dream was three and out," Gent said, smiling at his own naiveté, thinking he would enter the NFL draft after his junior year.

Gent quickly decided it was a better goal to become the first male in his family to graduate from college, and he is on track to do that in the spring.

"I was always doing just enough to get the grades I needed to keep playing," said Gent. Graduating will be a way of honoring the memory of his grandfather and grandmother, who raised him and both died during his career at FAU.

"Their dream was a college education for me," Gent said.

Gent's stats:

2006: 7 games, 6 catches, 66 yards, 11.3 yards per catch, 0 TD

2007: 12 games, 64 catches, 1,082 yards, 16.9 per catch, 9 TD

2008: 13 games, 60 catches, 935 yards, 15.6 per catch, 9 TD