Florida’s Top 10 Tight Ends

Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez gains 38 yards during the third quarter of the 2008 game against Miami at Florida Field. (Brandon Kruse/The Gainesville Sun )

So here was the idea. In 2006, we ranked the top 100 Florida football players on the 100th anniversary of Florida football. A lot of players have been stars since then, so let’s re-rank them. But that would mean kicking some of those players to the curb. So instead, we give you this as you try to take your minds off things — the Top 10 Gators at each position over the last 114 years of football. This is the fourth of a 13-part series.

Today — The tight ends.

Up next — The offensive tackles.

  1. Aaron Hernandez (2007-09): Despite the terrible issues off the field, there is little doubt Hernandez was the best to play the position. He had 111 career catches, including 68 for 850 yards as a junior when he was named first-team All-American.
  2. Ben Troupe (2000-03) — Troupe was a master of the hurdle as he would turn short passes into big gains. He averaged 15.0 yards a reception in his four years at UF.
  3. Jordan Reed (2010-12) — Reed was a quarterback as a freshman, but played his final two seasons as a dominant tight end. He finished with 79 catches for 945 yards and was All-SEC as a junior.
  4. Kirk Kirkpatrick (1987-90) — Kirkpatrick had only 27 catches before Steve Spurrier arrived and allowed him to split out more often. The result? A 55-catch season with seven touchdowns.
  5. Chris Faulkner (1979-82) — Mike Shanahan turned the position into an effective one as offensive coordinator and Faulker shared time with Mike Mularkey. He has 71 career catches for 752 yards and eight touchdowns.
  6. Aaron Walker (1999-2002) — He also played baseball, but it was in the football field where Walker excelled, catching 56 passes in his career for 716 yards.
  7. Kyle Pitts (2018-19) — Pitts still has a chance to do more damage, but he was a huge weapon for the 2019 Gators with 54 catches and five touchdowns.
  8. Jim Yarbrough (1966-68) — Yarbrough was a great blocker but when they threw the ball his way he usually snatched it in with his enormous hands. As a junior, he averaged 18 yards a catch.
  9. Cornelius Ingram (2005-08) — An injury cut his career short, but the former high school quarterback still managed to catch 64 passes in the Urban Meyer offense, eight of them for scores.
  10. Jake McGee (2014-15) — The transfer from Virginia missed his first season with an injury, but responded in his only full season at UF with 41 catches.



  1. Aside from ”Gangsta, gangsta!” TROOOOP, C.I., and Kirkpatrick were some of the best T.E’s in Florida Football, in my opinion. And all of those aspiring to live like Hernandez did, Ice-T rapped in an 80’s tune, ”…live a fast life, die a fast death!”
    Go Gators!

    • Murph: The guys doing the voting (Andreu, Dooley) consider Burton more of a hybrid at UF, as he lined up all over the place on offense. Where would you place him and whom would you boot out of the list?