Wide Reciever University  

Posted by Walter

Wow was this one tough. I think that given the passing revolution that has taken place in the NFL within the past 20 seasons, the fact that we limited ourselves to that period made this decision much much harder. Just the sheer number of quality WR in the NFL since 1986 naturally implicated a large number of schools into the discussion. And while I was able to finally settle on a top 2, there are easily several other schools that would have been a worthy choice as Wide Reciever University.

Honorable Mention
Ohio State - Cris Carter, Terry Glenn, David Boston, Joey Galloway, and Jeff Graham
Miami - Michael Irvine, Santana Moss, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Brett Perriman, Eddie Brown

I am listing the honorably mentions because, since the schools are so close, it is necessary to have a point of comparison for each spot.

Runner Up - University of Tennessee (Stanley Morgan, Carl Pickens, Anthony Miller, Peerless Price, Alvin Harper, Tim McGee, Willie Gault)

The trio of Morgan, Pickens, and Miller was just too much to ignore. Although Tennessee does not have a reciever the caliber of either Irvine or Carter, that trio is as good as any in the history of college football. Between them, they had 14 1000 yard seasons and played in 11 pro bowls. Niether Miami nor Ohio State can boast those kind of numbers. Now in Miami's case it is partially a function of most of their recievers being young and in the league now. So in 5 years Miami may be occupying this spot. That said, I am not ready to say that players like Andre Johnson and Santana Moss are going to continue on to have careers the caliber of Pickens and Miller just yet. In addition to their three top WR, Tennesse also boast suprising depth. Peerless Price is loaded with talent and had one solid season in Buffalo. Further, Tennessee boasts two receivers who played vital roles on two of the best teams of the past 20 seasons. Willie Gault was the biggest playmaker on the 1986 Bears, and most everyone remembers Alvin Harper as Mike Irvine's acrobatic running mate on those Cowboys teams of the early 1990's. But when it came down to it, the fact that Tennessee boasted the trio of receiving greats that it did was enough to push it past the younger, brasher, Buckeye and Hurricane corpses.

My Selection - Syracuse (Marvin Harrison, Rob Moore, Art Monk, Kevin Johnson, Qadry Ismail)

Perhaps a suprising selection, but the bottom line is that Syracuse was the only school to boast two hall of fame caliber WR who played in the last 20 seasons. For me, excellence is enough to overcome a relative lack of depth. Marvin Harrison is really quite remarkable. He has posted 7 straight 1000 yard seasons (second only to Cris Carter among players from these schools). Played in 7 consecutive pro bowls. And has topped 1400 yards 4 times (Mike Irvine only did it twice, and Carter never accomplioshed the feat). Art Monk, has also posted mind boggling numbers when you consider that he played in the era before the Bill Walsh led passing revolution really occurred. Monk had 5 1000 yard seasons, played in 3 pro bowls, and was one of the two most important players on 2 super bowl champions. Really, this duo is so awesome that had Syracuse not produced a single other reciever they would have been good enough to get them ito the top 4. Speaking of other WR, while not on the level of Harrison and Monk, Syracuse has produced one other pro bowler (Rob Moore), and two other solid contributors (Kevin Johnson and Qadry Ismail). Moore has posted 3 1000 yard seasons, including one where he topped 1500 yards. Both Johnson and Ismail have had 1000 yard seasons, and they compare favorably to some of the depth recievers from the other contending schools (Price and McGee at TN, Johnson and Perriman at Miami, Boston and Glenn at OSU).


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