The University of Louisville has enjoyed quite a few great tight ends in school history, but who is the best? We took a look at the best and attempted to extrapolate through the eras just who was the best tight end ever at the Unviersity of Louisville. We took into account what the player did while playing for UofL AND what they did after exhausting their eligibility, including their total impact on the program.
Special thanks to Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) for helping to pull some of the information listed below. If you feel that anyone should be included that is not listed here, leave us a comment at the end of the article.
1) Ibn Green – (1st Team AFCA All-American 1999, C-USA 1st team, 1997 & 1998 & 1999) – 1st in Career Receiving Yards for TE. 217 catches, 2830 yards, 33 TDs. He’s 16th All-Time in Career Receptions in Conference USA, #24 in Receiving Yardage, & #6 All-Time in C-USA Receiving TDs.
Ibn Green is Louisville’s only 1st team All-American at the tight end position. 2830 YARDS!!! 33 TOUCHDOWNS!!! Ibn is by far and away Louisville’s most productive tight end in school history. Personally I’ll never understand why Green didn’t have an NFL career as his collegiate performance demonstrated his ability to produce.
2) Jaime Asher – 2nd in Career Receiving Yards for TE. Played at UofL as Independent. Actually played Running Back his 1st two seasons. 153 catches for 1741 yards and 5 Touchdowns in his career. 5th round, 137th overall of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. Redskins 1995-1998, Eagles in 1999. 133 catches for 1,421 yards and 5 Touchdowns in his NFL career.
Jaime was always good for a diving catch and was a big part of the Louisville offense. Asher always enjoyed a productive NFL career as well and was a Pro Bowl alternate in 1997.
3) Gary Barnidge (Big East 1st team, 2007) – 108 catches, 1491 yards, 17 TDs while at UofL. Drafted 5th round, 141st overall by Carolina Panthers in 2008 NFL Draft. Panthers from 2008-2012, Browns, 2013-2016. Will likely play again in 2017. Receptions 178, Receiving yards 2,258, Receiving touchdowns 14 in NFL Career and has earned $10.3M during his professional career making him the top professional earning tight end UofL has to date.
4) Ronnie Ghent (C-USA 1st team, 2000 & 2001 & 2002 & 2003) 120 catches, 1349 yards, 15 TDs while at UofL. 4-time 1st team All-Conference. Philadelphia Eagles UDFA in 2004. Played for the Eagles, Bengals & Saints from 2004-2007.
5) Jim Zamberlan (MVC all-conference, 1967) 128 receptions, 1646 yards & 11 Touchdowns. #7 All-Time in Missouri Valley Conference History in Receptions, #14 in Receiving Yards in MVC history & #13 in MVC Career TDs.
6) Gary Barnes (MVC all-conference, 1972) – 95 catches, 1228 yards and 9 TDs.
7) Richard Owens – 36 catches, 371 yards & 8 TDs while at UofL. More of a blocker, but was also UofL’s long-snapper during his career. 5 seasons in NFL, 17 catches, 141 yards, 1 TD in NFL with the Rams, Jets and Vikings. Coached with Bobby Petrino at Arkansas & Garrick McGee at UAB. Currently Richard is the Offensive Line coach at South Alabama.
8) Cole Hikutini (ACC 2nd team, 2016) 69 catches, 1016 yards & 11 Touchdowns in 2 seasons at UofL. Undrafted free agent 2017 for the San Francisco 49ers.
9) Gerald Christian (ACC 3rd team, 2014) 60 catches 810 yards and 9 TDs at UofL in just two seasons. 7th round, 256th overall of 2015 NFL Draft by Arizona Cardinals. Also to not be forgotten is bringing his brother Geron Christian to UofL who currently starts at LT for the Cards and is on the Outland Trophy Watch List. 1 catch for 14 yards in NFL career.
10) Cameron Graham (Big East 1st team, 2010) 67 catches, 793 yards, 7 TDs in 2 seasons. 3 seasons in NFL
Cookie Brinkman – 77 catches, 1069 yards, 10 TDs.
David Hatfield – 89 catches, 1059 yards, 4 TDs
Danny Thomas – 83, 1057 yards, 4 TDs
Chad Fortune- 81 catches, 896 yards, 5 TDs (3 years)
Tony Smith – 55 catches, 803 yards, 6 TDs
*Louisville placed a tight end on the all-conference first team for seven straight years from 1997 through 2003 and again in 2007 and 2010.
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