As we wait for the formal announcements from Washington and USC about coaches coming and going, a quick look at the legacy of UW tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who has declared his intentions to turn pro after three seasons.
I inadvertantly started a small debate on Sunday after writing that ASJ was “the greatest tight end in Husky history.” I was referring to his place atop virtually every UW record at the position, not necessarily stating my opinion; perhaps “most accomplished” would have been a better choice of words. “Greatest” did incite some passionated emails, though.
From one reader, Dean, who said he has been a UW season-ticket holder since 1964:
Austin Seferian-Jenkins had the greatest potential to be one of the greatest Tight Ends in Husky History. … As a long time Husky supporter I watched him through his senior season at Gig Harbor High School playing football and basketball and he consistently lacked the killer instinct and committed untimely penalties. The Husky coaches have done a good job of coaching him up and his blocking has improved, but he still continued to fall back on his old habits throughout his Husky career even though the coaching staff often covered for his shortcomings. He regularly tapped his helmet wanting out of the game, made holding and personal foul penalties which negated a lot of the reception yardage he had gained. He seldom made yardage after tackle even though he was the biggest TE that the opposition had faced. He had plenty of athletic ability but lacked the drive to consistently take advantage of it.
That seems a bit harsh to me, but I think that also speaks to the expectations of ASJ coming in. I know many were surprised when Seferian-Jenkins won the John Mackey Award after his receptions were nearly cut in half this season (36 in 2013 vs. 69 in 2012). But from a national perspective, he was as good a tight end in the country the past few years.
Is he the best ever at UW? There’s room for debate there, I suppose, especially at a position where half the job — blocking — is much more subjective. Many will also look at the numbers differently in this era of explosive offenses in college football, which is fair.
Here are less subjective statistics:
Career receptions by a UW tight end:
1. Austin Seferian-Jenkins (2011-2013): 146 catches, 21 TDs
2. Mark Bruener (1991-94): 95 catches, 5 TDs
3. Jerramy Stevens (1999-01): 88 catches, 9 TDs
4. Rod Jones (1984-86): 81 catches, 5 TDs
5. John Brady (1970-72): 67 catches, 10 TDs
6. David Williams (1964-66): 62 catches,10 TDs
7. David Bayle (1979-80): 59 catches*
8. Aaron Pierce (1988-91): 58 catches, 6 TDs
9. Bill Ames (1987-89): 57 catches*
10. Cameron Cleeland (1994-97): 55 catches, 6 TDs
(*touchdown totals not listed in UW record book, but it’s less than five)
Others: Ernie Conwell (1992-95), Kevin Ware (1999-02), George Black (1951-53).
Worth noting: ASJ’s 21 touchdown receptions are the fourth-most in school history, behind Mario Bailey (30), Jermaine Kearse (29) and Reggie Williams (22).
Did I forget anyone? Would love to hear your thought in the comments section.