Owens, who was named a second-teamer at wide receiver and a third-teams selection as a punt returner, started in 12 games for the Panthers and eanred an All-C-USA Honorable Mention selection in 2016. The Boynton Beach, Florida, native caught 47 passes for 652 yards and seven touchdowns. He led FIU in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, averaging 54.3 yards-per-game and 13.9 yards-per-catch last season. Owens also led the Panthers with 12.5 yards-per-punt return. The 6-foot-1 wideout recorded two 100-yard games, including a 148-yard performance at Charlotte (10/15). He also had three multi-touchdown games and was one TD catch shy of tying the school record for touchdown catches in a season (8).
Wint, a second-team selection at linebacker, started in all 12 games for the Panthers, earning Second-Team All-C-USA honors last season. He finished the year with 108 total tackles (57 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. The 108 tackles on the year were the sixth-most in school history, while his career total of 244 ranks ninth all-time at FIU. The native of Homestead, Florida, registered 10-or-more tackles six times, including a career-high 13 at Charlotte (10/ 15). A two-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Week, Wint ranked No. 7 in the conference and No. 36 in the nation in total tackles.
Silva, a third-teamer on the defensive line, appeared in all 12 games for the Panthers, starting in 11. The native of Miami recorded 42 total tackles (14 solo) with 5.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks. Silva also recovered a fumble, produced four quarterback hurries and one pass breakup last season. The 6-foot-2 defensive end finished No. 6 on the team in total tackles, No. 4 in tackles for loss and led the Panthers in sacks. Silva registered three-or-more tackles eight times, including a career-best eight at UMass (9/17).
Williams, a third-team honoree at linebacker, started in all 12 games for the Panthers, earning All-C-USA Honorable Mention recognition in 2016. The 6-foot linebacker recorded a team-leading 109 tackles (61 solo), with 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks. Williams also collected one quarterback hurry and one pass breakup. He was tied for the team lead in tackles for loss and No. 2 on the squad in sacks. His 109 total tackles were the fifth-most in a single season in school history. Williams registered 10-or-more tackles five times, including a career-high 15 versus Florida Atlantic (10/1).
Gardner, a fourth-teamer at running back, made 12 starts to earn All-C-USA Honorable Mention honors last season. The native of Jacksonville, Florida, rushed for 930 yards on 181 carries and six touchdowns. He became the school's all-time leading rusher in 2016, finishing the campaign with 2,272 yards. Gardner also set the career mark in carries (504). He scored a team-high six rushing touchdowns, while recording five 100-yard games, including a career-high 141 yards on the ground at UTEP (10/8). Gardner ranked No. 8 in the conference in rushing yards and No. 10 in rushing yards-per-game (77.5), while averaging 5.1 yards-per-carry.
Absheer, a fourth-team selection on the offensive line, appeared in all 12 games, starting in 11, on an offensive line that helped produce 4,503 yards of total offense (No. 4 all-time for yards in a season at FIU). The Panthers rushed for 1,783 yards (third-most in school history) and produced 2,720 yards through the air. Absheer blocked for the school’s all-time leading rusher (Alex Gardner – 2,272 yards) and FIU’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (Alex McGough – 48); both marks set in 2016. The Oakland Park, Florida, product helped FIU’s offense gained over 200 yards on the ground five times, including a 270-yard performance versus Florida Atlantic (Oct. 1), while gaining over 500 yards of total offense twice.
Brown, a fourth-team honoree as a cornerback, appeared in 11 games for the Panthers, starting in seven last season. The Tampa, Florida, native recorded 20 total tackles (15 solo). He led the team with seven pass breakup and three interceptions. The 6-foot-1 cornerback registered multiple tackles in five games and had at least one pass breakup in six games. Brown tied his career high in tackles with five at Old Dominion (11/26) and notched his team-leading third interception of the season with a pick returned for career-best 45 yards versus the Monarchs.
The 2017 FIU football season will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 2, when the Panthers travel to Orlando, Florida, to take on the UCF Knights.
FIU's 2017 schedule is highlighted with games against Boca Raton Bowl and 2016 C-USA champion WKU, Popeyes Bahamas Bowl champion Old Dominion, AutoNation Cure Bowl participant UCF, Foster Farms Bowl participant Indiana, Hawai'i Bowl participant Middle Tennessee and Gildan New Mexico Bowl participant UTSA. In addition, the Panthers will face Rice, Charlotte, Marshall and Florida Atlantic as well as first-time opponents Alcorn State and Tulane.
For FIU football ticket information, contact the University Credit Union Box Office at 305-FIU-GAME (348-4263).
For the latest information on Panthers football, follow us on Twitter, @FIUFootball, and check out Pete Pelegrin's in-depth coverage of FIU Athletics on his official blog, The Prowl, at www.FIUSports.com.
About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 18 different sports. Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU's campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including FIU Arena and Riccardo Silva Stadium.
About FIU: Florida International University is classified by Carnegie as a "R1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity" and recognized as a Carnegie Community Engaged university. It is a public research university with colleges and schools that offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in fields such as business, engineering, computer science, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida's anchor institutions, FIU contributes almost $9 billion each year to the local economy and is ranked second in Florida in Forbes Magazine's "America's Best Employers" list. FIU graduates are consistently among the highest paid college graduates in Florida and are among the leaders of public and private organizations throughout South Florida. FIU is Worlds Ahead in finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission with multiple state-of-the-art research facilities including the Wall of Wind Research and Testing Facility, FIU's Medina Aquarius Program and the Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute. FIU has awarded more than 220,000 degrees and enrolls more than 54,000 students in two campuses and centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell, FIU@I-75, the Miami Beach Urban Studios, and Tianjin, China. FIU also supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA and more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.