College Football: The 25 Greatest Receivers of the 2000s

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College Football: The 25 Greatest Receivers of the 2000s
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The forward pass was made a legal play in 1906, even though the first forward pass on record occurred in 1876 game between Yale and Princeton.

Even though the play was illegal, the referee simply flipped a coin (literally) to determine if he would let the play stand.

After the 1905 season, in which 18 football players across the nation had died, there were calls for the game to be banned as too dangerous. Luckily, President Theodore Roosevelt was a fan of football and simply ordered changes to the rules in order to make the game safer.

Over sixty colleges and universities met to discuss a uniform set of rules that would make the game safer, and they decided to make the forward pass a legal play.

The meeting between these schools eventually led to the formation of the NCAA, so it's not a stretch to say that the forward pass gave birth to the NCAA.

In the 104 season since, there may be no decade that produced such a large number of stellar receivers than the 2000s.

That's partly due to the increase in athleticism, an increase in the talent level of quarterbacks around the nation, and because the country has become accustomed to games with final scores 48-41 or 42-35 rather than 10-7 or 7-3. Receivers are in high demand, and they attract a lot of attention.

Because of the plethora of amazing talent in the new “spread” college football game, there are bound to be some very good receivers absent from this list. That doesn't mean they weren't good, but narrowing a list like this down to 25 players is bound to leave someone off.

It's important to remember that statistics are only part of a player's impact on the game. After all, what good is 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns if your team finished the year 6-6?

Keeping that in mind, let's look at our list of the 25 greatest receivers since the turn of the millennium.

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