Who are the top wide receivers in SEC history?

We’ve spent the last several weeks flipping through team-specific media guides, glancing over highlight film and nearly coming to blows at our home office determining this 25-member comprehensive list of the league’s best pass-catchers.

Editor’s note: The SDS staff weighed multiple factors during our SEC’s all-time wide receivers rankings process including career statistics, individual awards, importance to their respective team and the era in which they played.


Highly-recruited out of Gaffney, S.C., Rice was Lou Holtz’s last major signee in 2004 before Steve Spurrier arrived the following season. After redshirting during Holtz’s demise as a true freshman, Rice exploded as a go-to threat in the Head Ball Coach’s wide-open attack in 2005 and instantly became one of the most memorable players on offense in program history with touchdown catches in eight consecutive games to start his career.

Rice finished with 243 more receiving yards than his nearest competitor in the SEC that season (1,143) and set a single-season Gamecocks record for touchdown receptions (13). His numbers were almost identical as a third-year sophomore for a South Carolina team that finished 8-5 including wins over 24th-ranked Clemson and Houston in the Liberty Bowl. Rice tied an SEC record and broke the South Carolina record with five touchdown catches against Florida Atlantic during the 2006 campaign.

During his time, Rice broke Sterling Sharpe’s school record for touchdown receptions with 23 trips to the end zone in 24 career games. That mark has since been tied by recent All-American Alshon Jeffery.

Career numbers:

142 catches, 2,233 yards, 23 TD

Individual superlatives:

Rivals.com National Freshman of the Year (2005)

NFL Draft:

No. 44 overall (second round) in 2007

Defining moments:

During his redshirt freshman season, Rice helped the Gamecocks beat Tennessee for
the first time ever at Neyland Stadium with 112 yards receiving and two touchdowns from quarterback Blake Mitchell during a 16-15 win.

24.) WENDELL DAVIS, LSU (1985-87)

This precision route-runner with elite cutting ability progressed from a relative non-factor his first two years into a premiere national threat by the end of his tenure, leading the 1986 Tigers to an SEC Championship while setting several individual program records in the process.

Davis led college football with 1,244 yards receiving in 1986 and followed that total up with 993 yards the following season, tops in the SEC. During both of those years, Davis’ reception totals (80, 72) were college football highs.

A promising start to his NFL career effectively ended in 1993 when Davis severed both patella tendons after his cleats got stuck in the Astroturf after being tackled at Veterans Stadium. Davis spent one year in rehabilitation with his legs encased in casts from thigh to ankle much of the time, but never returned to the field in his attempt at a comeback.

He was inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame in 2011.

Career numbers:

183 catches, 2,708 yards, 19 TD

Individual superlatives:

Consensus All-American (1987); SEC Player of the Year (1987); All-American (1986)

NFL Draft:

No. 27 overall in 1987

Defining moments:

During the 1986 season, Davis set a school record with 14 receptions against Ole Miss.

23.) WES CHANDLER, FLORIDA (1974-77)

Florida’s top wideout for three consecutive seasons during the mid 1970s, this two-time All-American led college football in receiving touchdowns (10), yards (967) and yards per reception (22.0) in 1976 as the top target on the Gators’ run-oriented wishbone offense.

As a senior captain in 1977, Chandler finished 10th in Heisman voting and completed an illustrious career in Gainesville as a two-way threat, carrying the football 61 times for 353 yards and six touchdowns to go along with 490 yards receiving. He also returned punts as a junior and senior for the Gators.

Chandler’s career 21.4 yards-per-catch average remains a program record. Later this year, he will become the eighth former Florida player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

“When you are growing up in high school, you wonder what it would be like to play with such great athletes and just being part of that,” Chandler said in a recent interview with Fox Sports on his upcoming induction. “For me, just to be able to get to Florida and participate with those individuals, individuals who had crates of talent, really helped me grow as a person and helped me grow as an athlete.

Career numbers:

93 catches, 1,994 yards, 22 TD; 356 yards rushing, 6 TD

Individual superlatives:

All-American (1976-77)

NFL Draft:

No. 3 overall in 1978

Defining moments:

After coming up empty his previous three games against Georgia, Chandler went out on top as a senior against Florida’s hated rival, outscoring the Bulldogs by himself with three touchdowns during the Gators’ 22-17 win.

22.) MIKE EVANS, TEXAS A&M (2012-13)

At 6-foot-5, nearly 240 pounds, the basketball player turned freak receiver proved unguardable during his two seasons in the SEC, setting Texas A&M’s program record with 1,394 yards with an outlandish 20.2 yards-per-catch average as a consensus All-American in 2013.

Evans played football only one season in high school and was a competitive leaper on his track team. The combination of explosiveness and athleticism was all the Texas A&M coaching staff needed to offer him a spot at wide receiver.

During Johnny Manziel’s Heisman campaign in 2012, Evans emerged as a prolific threat with 82 receptions for 1,105 yards and five scores. SEC coaches voted him on the league’s all-freshman team. Evans routinely made highlight-worthy catches in traffic, had soft hands and quickly transformed into Manziel’s security blanket on the outside during the pair’s brief time together.

As a rookie first-round pick last season, Evans set a single-season franchise record with 12 touchdown receptions for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He caught 68 passes for 1,051 yards as an instant-impact player, transitioning into the No. 1 role by season’s end.

Career numbers:

151 catches, 2,499 yards, 17 TD

Individual superlatives:

Consensus All-American (2013); All-SEC (2012-13)

NFL Draft:

No. 7 overall in 2014

Defining moments:

As a redshirt sophomore, Evans caught 11 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns against Auburn. Early that 2013 season, he set the previous program record with a 7-catch, 279-yard outing against Alabama.


The only Florida receiver to ever record consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Gaffney was an All-SEC first-teamer as a freshman and sophomore and one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award in 2001.

Gaffney led the SEC in touchdown receptions both seasons and his production as the Gators’ most reliable option was nearly identical — 71 catches, 1,184 yards, 14 TD (2000) and 67 catches, 1,191 yards and 13 TD (2001). Gaffney’s 27 career receiving touchdowns is the fourth-best total in school history.

Spurrier kicked Gaffney off the team during his redshirt freshman season, but he was allowed back a few months later — while forfeiting his scholarship — after the Gators noticed a change in his behavior. Gaffney went on to play 11 NFL seasons and finished with over 5,000 yards receiving at the professional level.

Career numbers:

138 catches, 2,375 yards, 27 TD

Individual superlatives:

Consensus All-American (2001); All-SEC (2000-01)

NFL Draft:

No. 33 overall (second round) in 2002

Defining moments:

Gaffney’s game-winning touchdown reception in the final seconds against Tennessee during the 2000 season clinched the Eastern Division for the Gators. Florida went on to win the SEC Championship.


Randall Cobb, Kentucky (2008-10); Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas (2009-12); Peerless Price, Tennessee (1995-98); Michael Clayton, LSU (2001-03); Jack Jackson, Florida (1992-94); Robert Meachem, Tennessee, (2004-06); Shay Hodge, Ole Miss, (2006-09); Boo Mitchell, Vanderbilt, (1985-88); Reidel Anthony, Florida, (1994-96); Kenny McKinley, South Carolina, (2005-08); Marcus Nash, Tennessee (1994-97); Mardye McDole, Mississippi State, (1977-80); Carl Pickens, Tennessee (1989-91); Jacquez Green, Florida, (1995-97); Cris Collinsworth, Florida, (1977-1980); Frank Sanders, Auburn, (1991-94); Wayne Wheeler, Alabama (1971-73)