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The SEC isn’t known for its primo wide receivers. Other conferences and non-SEC schools have had more big-time receivers since 1998. But some great playmakers and receivers have come through the SEC during the BCS era.
Here are the 10-best:
1. Percy Harvin, Florida (2006-08)
Receiving stats: 133 catches, 1,929 yds, 13 TDs
Rushing stats: 1,852 yds, 19 TDs
Skinny: Harvin still remains the most electrifying playmaker in recent memory. Maybe he wasn’t the best pure receiver, but he was the definition of a playmaker. Harvin is the only player on the list who went 1,000/1,000 for his career, and he was Urban Meyer’s all-purpose animal. He could have played several positions on the field and excelled, because he was that gifted. No other player on this list combines the ability, size, speed or agility as Harvin, and to this day he – along with Tavon Austin – got to top speed faster than any player.
Related: Ranking the 2013 SEC wide receivers
2. AJ Green, Georgia (2008-10)
Receiving stats: 166 catches, 2,619 yds, 23 TD
Rushing stats: 105 yds
Skinny: Green combines the size, strength, jumping ability and hands to be one of the best receivers on paper, but he bottled that ability and made nearly every single catch thrown his way. Green led the SEC in receiving yards and touchdowns as a freshman and finished 6th in 2009. Had he not been suspended for four games in 2010, his numbers would have been even better.
3. Josh Reed, LSU (1999-2001)
Receiving stats: 167 catches, 3,001 yds, 17 TDs
Rushing stats: 63 yds, TD
Skinny: Reed may surprise some of you in the No. 3 slot, but don’t let it. His numbers may not blow you away, but the 2001 season stands as one of the best in SEC history. Reed nabbed 94 catches for 1,740 yards and seven touchdowns. He won the Biletnikoff Award and was an All-American.
4. Julio Jones, Alabama (2008-10)
Receiving stats: 179 catches, 2,653 yds, 15 TDs
Rushing stats: 139 yds, 2 TDs
Skinny: From a strictly physical standpoint, few are more talented than Jones. He owns the most receptions in one season for any Bama receiver with 78 and finished second in history for receiving yards. Jones helped the Tide win the 2009 national championship, but I’d take Harvin, Green and Reed before Jones in college. Call me crazy.
5. Dwayne Bowe, LSU (2003-06)
Receiving stats: 154 catches, 2,403 yds, 26 TDs
Skinny: Bowe is up there with Green and Jones as far as physical talents. He finished 6th in receptions in LSU history and 6th in receiving yards. Bowe scored 26 touchdowns in just three years of work. He was a rare talent who can still be found playing on Sundays.
6. Terrence Edwards, Georgia (1999-2002)
Receiving stats: 204 catches, 3,093 yds, 30 TDs
Return stats: 285 yds
Skinny: The forgotten man on the list, Edwards sits fourth in SEC history with 204 catches, and his 3,093 receiving yards top SEC history. He was a part of the 2002 SEC Championship team. He went undrafted in the NFL.
7. Jabar Gaffney, Florida (2000-01)
Receiving stats: 138 catches, 2,375 yds, 27 TDs
Skinny: Gaffney sits 7th in SEC history with 27 receiving touchdowns, but he was electric in the Fun ‘N Gun offense. He was a first-team All-SEC and first-team All-American in 2000-01. He was a second-round pick with the Texans in 2002.
8. Sidney Rice, South Carolina (2005-06)
Receiving stats: 142 catches, 2,233 yds, 23 TDs
Skinny: Rice posted 1,143 yards and 13 touchdowns as a freshman in 2005, second to Alshon Jeffery’s single-season receiving record at SC. Rice is tied with Jeffery for most receiving touchdowns in Carolina history. He remains an underrated star, because we only saw two seasons of Rice.
9. Earl Bennett, Vanderbilt (2005-07)
Receiving stats: 236 catches, 2,852 yds, 20 TDs
Return stats: 586 yds
Skinny: Bennett owns the SEC’s career receptions record with 236, and he was the first SEC receiver to record 75 catches in three different seasons. He was a staple in the passing game for the Dores and never truly gets the credit he deserves.
10. Robert Meachem, Tennessee (2004-06)
Receiving stats: 125 catches, 2,140 yds, 17 TDs
Skinny: The No. 10 slot was tough between Robert Meachem, DJ Hall and Kenny McKinley, but I’m going with Meachem. He led the team in receiving all three seasons, and 2006 was Meachem’s breakout year, where he finally put it all together. He had a career-high 71 catches for a Tennessee-high 1,298 yards and 11 touchdowns. Meachem remains third all-time on the Vols’ receiving list, behind Joey Kent, Marcus Nash and Peerless Price. That’s great company.
Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports