Sports

The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time 

Ranker College Football
Updated October 20, 2019 3.5k votes 451 voters 8.1k views 57 items

List Rules Football players at the tight end position who had epic college careers

American college football, like all football originated as rugby in England and Canada. Eventually rugby came stateside, and then became the game we know and love today. Years later the NCAA was formed to regulate college teams. The tight ends on this list were the best of the best during their college careers.

The NCAA allows students from American universities, colleges, Canadian universities, or military academies to play. American college football has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, but it was actually through college football that the American football rules gained popularity in the first place.

The tight end is an offensive position somewhere between an offensive lineman and a wide receiver. They are responsible for receiving, blocking and sometimes rushing.

Below we commemorate the greatest college tight ends of ALL TIME! If you see a name missing feel free to add it and vote up your favorite tight ends, based on their incredible college careers.
list ordered by
1
Tony Gonzalez is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Tight end from Torrance

Age: 39

Teams: California Golden Bears football, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs

More Tony Gonzalez 

#47 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #2 of 24 The Best NFL Tight Ends of the '90s

2
Rob Gronkowski is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
bigolooch added Tight end from Amherst

Age: 26

Teams: Arizona Wildcats football, New England Patriots

More Rob Gronkowski 

#2,067 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #189 of 347 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

3
Jason Witten is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Tight end from Elizabethton

Age: 33

Teams: Dallas Cowboys

More Jason Witten 

#109 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #4 of 59 The Best University of Tennessee Football Players Ever

4
Antonio Gates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
5
Mike Ditka is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Tight end from Carnegie

Age: 76

Teams: Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Panthers football, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys

More Mike Ditka 

#15 of 79 The Best NFL Player Nicknameslisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

6
Vernon Davis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Tight end from Washington

Age: 31

Teams: Washington Redskins

More Vernon Davis 

#283 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #65 of 111 The Greatest Washington Redskins of All Time #41 of 41 The 41 Hottest Men in the NFL

7
Shannon Sharpe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Tight end from Chicago

Age: 50

Teams: Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Savannah State Tigers football

More Shannon Sharpe 

#150 of 290 The Most Obnoxious Athletes #9 of 86 The Best Baltimore Ravens of All Time

8
Jeremy Shockey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Tight end from Ada

Age: 35

Teams: New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Miami Hurricanes football, New York Giants

More Jeremy Shockey 

#489 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #14 of 63 The Best Miami Football Players of All Time

9
Kellen Winslow is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time

Age: 58

Teams: Missouri Tigers football, San Diego Chargers

More Kellen Winslow 

#161 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #44 of 174 Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

10
Dallas Clark is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Tight end from Sioux Falls

Age: 36

Teams: Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Iowa Hawkeyes football

More Dallas Clark 

#558 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #16 of 90 The Greatest Tight Ends Of All Time

11
Ozzie Newsome is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
bigolooch added Tight end from Muscle Shoals

Age: 59

Teams: Cleveland Browns

More Ozzie Newsome 

#171 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #2 of 25 The Best NFL Tight Ends of the '80s

12
Dave Casper is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Tight end and Wide receiver from Bemidji

Age: 64

More Dave Casper 

#146 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #14 of 80 The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time

13
Jay Novacek is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
bigolooch added Tight end from Martin

Age: 53

Teams: Phoenix Cardinals, Wyoming Cowboys football, Dallas Cowboys

More Jay Novacek 

#562 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #3 of 24 The Best NFL Tight Ends of the '90s

14
Keith Jackson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
15
Kyle Rudolph is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Kyle Rudolph Tight end from Cincinnati

Age: 26

Teams: Minnesota Vikings

16
Heath Miller is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Tight end from Richlands

Age: 33

Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers

More Heath Miller 

#288 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #17 of 90 The Greatest Tight Ends Of All Time #19 of 117 The Best Pittsburgh Steelers of All Time

17
Mark Bavaro is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
bigolooch added Tight end from Winthrop

Age: 52

Teams: Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants

More Mark Bavaro 

#524 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #40 of 80 The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time

18
Travis Kelce is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Jules Cook added Travis Kelce Tight end from Cleveland Heights

Age: 26

Teams: Cincinnati Bearcats, Kansas City Chiefs

More Travis Kelce 

#496 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #103 of 149 The Best Hot Ones Guests Ever

19
Todd Heap is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Todd Heap Tight end from Mesa

Age: 35

Teams: Arizona Cardinals, Arizona State Sun Devils football, Baltimore Ravens

More Todd Heap 

#14 of 86 The Best Baltimore Ravens of All Time #486 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Everlisted on College & Professional Athletes Who Were Raised Mormon

20
Kellen Winslow II is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Tight end from San Diego

Age: 32

Teams: Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets

21
Todd Christensen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
bigolooch added Todd Christensen Fullback and Tight end from Bellefonte

Age: Died at 57 (1956-2013)

More Todd Christensen 

#19 of 90 The Greatest Tight Ends Of All Timelisted on College & Professional Athletes Who Were Raised Mormon

22
Ben Coates is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
23
Jermaine Gresham is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Tight end from Ardmore

Age: 27

Teams: Cincinnati Bengals

24
Brent Celek is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
bigolooch added Tight end from Cincinnati

Age: 30

Teams: Cincinnati Bearcats football, Philadelphia Eagles

25
Aaron Hernandez is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time
Tight end from Bristol

Age: 26

Teams: Florida Gators football, New England Patriots