Big 12 Football: 10 Greatest WRs of the BCS Era

Sebastian LenaAnalyst IFebruary 18, 2014

Big 12 Football: 10 Greatest WRs of the BCS Era

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    Crabtree was anything but mediocre during his time at Texas Tech.
    Crabtree was anything but mediocre during his time at Texas Tech.Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    In a conference known for its vaunted offensive attacks, it’s no surprise the Big 12 boasts some of the best wide receivers during college football’s BCS era.

    Since 1999, the conference has played host to four Fred Biletnikoff Award winners. That includes the only two players—Michael Crabtree and Justin Blackmon—to have won the award more than once.

    With points coming in bunches, the Big 12 would be hard-pressed not to boast some top-notch receivers.

    Join B/R as we take a closer look at some of the best receivers to come out of the Big 12.

     

    Author’s note: This list only contains receivers from the BCS Era (1999-2013). Given the differences in competition, rules and whatnot from year to year, these players are listed in no order.

Rashaun Woods (Oklahoma State)

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    Woods had all the talent in the world.
    Woods had all the talent in the world.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Seasons: 4 (2000-03)

    Career Stats: 293 REC, 4,414 YDS, 42 TDs

     

    The Skinny

    Rashaun Woods is just the first of several Oklahoma State receivers on this list.

    During his time at Stillwater, Woods dominated the competition. That included topping the 1,000-yard mark in receiving in each of his final three years.

    Woods' best season came in 2002, when he hauled in 107 passes for 1,695 yards and 17 touchdowns. He led the Big 12 in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns that season, earning himself consensus All-American honors.

    Over his career, Woods is second all-time in the Big 12 in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

    Drafted No. 31 overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2004 NFL Draft, Woods only lasted one season in the league.

Roy Williams (Texas)

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    Williams (left) made a name for himself in Austin.
    Williams (left) made a name for himself in Austin.RODOLFO GONZALEZ/Associated Press

    Seasons: 4 (2000-03)

    Career Stats: 241 REC, 3,866 YDS, 36 TDs; 16 CAR, 243 YDS, 3 TDs

     

    The Skinny

    Given the quarterback struggles in Texas these days, the team probably could use someone of Roy Williams’ caliber.

    During his playing days in Austin, Williams was one of the top receivers in the nation, let alone the Big 12.

    In four seasons with the Longhorns, the Odessa, Texas, native thrived. Whether it was running the ball or catching it, Williams made opposing defenders’ lives miserable.

    To this day, he ranks No. 4 in the Big 12 in receiving yards and No. 5 in receiving touchdowns.

    After being drafted No. 7 overall by the Detroit Lions in the 2004 NFL draft, Williams enjoyed a solid eight-year career.

Mark Clayton (Oklahoma)

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    No one made bigger plays for the Sooners than Clayton (left) during his time in Norman.
    No one made bigger plays for the Sooners than Clayton (left) during his time in Norman.CHARLIE RIEDEL/Associated Press

    Seasons: 4 (2001-04)

    Career Stats: 220 REC, 3,236 YDS, 31 TDs

     

    The Skinny

    The Oklahoma offensive attacks from the early 2000s would have been nowhere without the contributions of Mark Clayton.

    In fact, he was a large reason the Sooners reached the BCS title game not once, but twice during his four years in Norman.

    Time and time again, Clayton was there to make the big plays in the passing game. He was especially good in 2003, hauling in 83 passes for 1,425 yards and 15 touchdowns—Clayton led the Big 12 in receiving and touchdowns that season.

    Whenever this guy had the ball in his hands, good things were bound to happen. 

    As it stands, Clayton currently ranks No. 8 all-time in the Big 12 in receiving and No. 9 in receiving touchdowns.

    He was drafted No. 22 overall by the Baltimore Ravens during the 2005 NFL draft.

Jordan Shipley (Texas)

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    Shipley (center) was a threat to score from all over the field.
    Shipley (center) was a threat to score from all over the field.Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Seasons: 4 (2006-09)

    Career Stats: 248 REC, 3,191 YDS, 33 TDs

     

    The Skinny

    Jordan Shipley led Texas to many wins during his four years in Austin. He even led the Longhorns to a BCS title game.

    Other than his first two seasons, Shipley was dynamite.

    In 2008 and 2009, the Temple, Texas, native combined for 205 receptions, 2,545 yards and 24 touchdowns. He led the Big 12 in receptions (116) during the 2009 campaign while ranking No. 2 in receiving yards (1,485) and No. 3 in touchdowns (13).

    What made Shipley even more of an asset was his talents in the return game—he returned 49 kicks for 843 yards and four touchdowns.

    One of college football’s most consistent receivers, Shipley was drafted in the third round by the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2010 NFL draft.

     

Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech)

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    Crabtree (left) dominated the Big 12 during his two seasons.
    Crabtree (left) dominated the Big 12 during his two seasons.Alonzo Adams/Associated Press

    Seasons: 2 (2007-08)

    Career Stats: 231 REC, 3,127 YDS, 41 TDs

     

    The Skinny

    Michael Crabtree made headlines last month as the receiver Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman dubbed “mediocre.”

    However, during his time at Texas Tech, the Dallas, Texas, native was anything but.

    In just two seasons in Lubbock, Crabtree put together career numbers that rank among the best in Big 12 history. He currently ranks No. 10 in career receiving yards, No. 13 in career receptions and No. 3 in career receiving touchdowns.

    Crabtree’s breakout year came in his redshirt freshman season in 2007, where he registered Big 12 single-season records in receptions (134), yards (1,962) and touchdowns (22). He also led the Big 12 in touchdowns in 2008 with 19.

    Not only was Crabtree a consensus All-American in both seasons, but he also won the Fred Biletnikoff Award both years—he was the first player to win the award twice.

    Following a sensational career, Crabtree was selected No. 10 overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2009 NFL draft.

Dezmon Briscoe (Kansas)

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    Briscoe (center) had a fantastic career with Kansas.
    Briscoe (center) had a fantastic career with Kansas.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Seasons: 3 (2007-09)

    Career Stats: 219 REC, 3,240 YDS, 31 TDs

     

    The Skinny

    Dezmon Briscoe finished off his career with Kansas on a strong note.

    After a decent freshman campaign, the Dallas, Texas, native combined to record 176 receptions, 2,744 yards and 24 touchdowns during his final two seasons. In both 2008 and 2009, he ranked in the top five in the Big 12 in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

    For his career, Briscoe ranks No. 7 all-time in the Big 12 in receiving yards and No. 31 in receiving touchdowns.

    Unfortunately, he has been nothing more than a bust in the NFL after being drafted in the sixth round by the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2010 draft.

     

Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma)

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    Broyles (right) was one of the best WRs in the country during his time in Norman.
    Broyles (right) was one of the best WRs in the country during his time in Norman.Alonzo Adams/Associated Press

    Seasons: 4 (2008-11)

    Career Stats: 349 REC, 4,586 YDS, 45 TDs

     

    The Skinny

    There are just a few wide receivers in the nation—let alone the Big 12—who could claim they’ve had a better statistical career than Ryan Broyles.

    In four seasons in Norman, the Oklahoma City, Okla., native lit up opposing secondaries with no regard. After a solid freshman campaign, he topped the 1,000-yard mark in receiving and caught more than 10 touchdowns in each of his last three seasons.

    Broyles finished his career ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He also ranks No. 1, 2 and 4 in the NCAA in those categories, respectively.

    A threat to score from anymore on the field, Broyles was selected in the second round by the Detroit Lions in the 2012 NFL draft.

Kendall Wright (Baylor)

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    Wright was unstoppable during his senior season.
    Wright was unstoppable during his senior season.Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

    Seasons: 4 (2008-11)

    Career Stats: 302 REC, 4,004 YDS, 30 TDs; 75 CAR, 425 YDS, 2 TDs

     

    The Skinny

    After three solid seasons for Baylor, Kendall Wright really broke out during his senior campaign.

    In 2011, the Mount Pleasant, Texas, native caught 108 passes for 1,663 yards and 14 touchdowns. He finished the season ranked No. 2 in the Big 12 in receptions, No. 1 in receiving yards, No. 2 in receiving touchdowns and No. 1 in yards from scrimmage.

    For his career, Wright ranks No. 3 all-time in the Big 12 in receptions, No. 3 in receiving yards and No. 13 in touchdowns.

    Given his talents, Wright was selected No. 20 overall by the Tennessee Titans in the 2012 NFL draft.

Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State)

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    Blackmon nearly led the Cowboys to an undefeated season in 2011.
    Blackmon nearly led the Cowboys to an undefeated season in 2011.PAUL CONNORS/Associated Press

    Seasons: 3 (2009-11)

    Career Stats: 253 REC, 3,564 YDS, 40 TDs

     

    The Skinny

    After playing sparsely in his freshman season, Justin Blackmon’s career at Oklahoma State really took off.

    In his final two seasons in Stillwater, Blackmon caught 233 passes for a whopping 3,304 yards and 38 touchdowns. He led the Big 12 in receiving yards in 2010 and led the conference in touchdowns in both 2010 and 2011.

    As it stands, Blackmon currently ranks No. 7 all-time in the Big 12 in receptions, No. 5 in receiving yards and No. 4 in receiving touchdowns.

    He also had a very decorated career, winning the Fred Biletnikoff Award and earning consensus All-American honors in both 2010 and 2011. Blackmon was also selected as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2010.

    Blackmon was selected No. 5 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2012 NFL draft.

Tavon Austin (West Virginia)

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    Austin was no stranger to big plays during his career in Morgantown.
    Austin was no stranger to big plays during his career in Morgantown.Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Seasons: 4 (2009-12)

    Career Stats: 288 REC, 3,413 YDS, 29 TDs; 110 CAR, 643 YDS, 3 TDs

     

    The Skinny

    Tavon Austin may have only played one season in the Big 12, but he was easily one of the best receivers the conference has seen. 

    Not surprisingly, he finished 2012 ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 in receptions (114), No. 3 in receiving yards (1,289) and No. 3 in receiving touchdowns (12).

    But Austin also contributed in other facets of the game. He also rushed for 643 yards and three touchdowns in 2012 while returning 47 kicks for 978 yards and two touchdowns.

    As a result, Austin ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 in yards from scrimmage (1,932).

    Austin’s explosiveness made him a wanted commodity in the NFL, where he was taken No. 8 overall by the St. Louis Rams in the 2013 draft.

     

    All stats and rankings are courtesy of CFBStats.

    For complete coverage and everything college football, you can reach Sebastian on FacebookTwitter and via email at Sebastian.LenaBR@gmail.com.