By CLIFF BRUNT
For years, Purdue has been known as the Cradle of Quarterbacks.
It’s perhaps the title Purdue football fans are most proud of, along with 1967 Rose Bowl champions and 2000 Big Ten champions. But for every Drew Brees, Len Dawson, Mike Phipps, Bob Griese, Gary Danielson, Bob DeMoss, Curtis Painter, Jim Everett or Mark Herrmann, there’s been a bunch of quality guys catching their passes.
For whatever reason, Purdue receivers haven’t had a ton of NFL success. At the college level, the school has consistently produced players worthy of conference and national awards.
Here is my list of the 10 best Purdue receivers. I have limited this list to receivers and tight ends. Considerations were how dominant they were in their eras, conference and national records, awards such as All-America recognition and how they contributed to team success.
In any such list, there are omissions.
Because this is a career list and not a season list, Chris Daniels doesn’t make it. He bears mention though. In his one huge season, he caught a school record 121 passes for 1,236 yards in 1999. He had a school-record 301 yards on 21 catches against Michigan State on Oct. 16 of that year. His 170 career catches are ninth in school history.
Rodney Carter posted huge reception numbers, but he was a running back, a dangerous safety valve for Everett in the 1980s. He caught 181 passes from 1982-1985, still sixth on the school’s all-time receptions list. He caught 98 passes in 1985, a record until Daniels broke it, for 1,099 yards.
Calvin Williams was as successful in the pros as any Purdue receiver. He caught 138 passes for 1,855 yards as a Boilermaker. In his best college game, he had three touchdowns at Michigan in 1989.
He went on to catch 308 passes for 3,925 yards and 35 touchdowns as a pro, mostly for the Philadelphia Eagles.
He couldn’t quite crack this list, though. Maybe those guys catching the ball haven’t been too bad, either.
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Also, take your shot at a top 10! Who is missing from this list? You be the judge! Tweet your thoughts to Cliff Brunt at www.twitter.com/cliffbrunt_isl.