Jerry Rice, arguably the greatest wide receiver of all time/(arguably only to randy moss: self proclaimed greatest receiver of all time), attended Mississippi Valley State University and stood out enough to be a 1st round draft pick in the 1985 draft. Why did he go to such a small school, though? At his time, why not Nebraska, Miami, or Oklahoma? How about the other greatest wide receiver in NFL history, Randy Moss? He attended Marshall University, who had their first season in NCAA Division I-A in Randy’s last year. There is a lingering tendency for great wide receivers to go to smaller schools. Other greats like Charlie Joiner-Grambling State, Andre Reed-Kutztown, Steve Largent-Tulsa, and even John Stallworth-Alabama A&M. There is no statistical data to prove how many good wide receivers go to small schools, however there is plenty of wide outs in today’s league that you’ll notice went to schools that aren’t even close to competing for a National Championship.
Who would have guessed that the recently retired Donald Driver attended Alcorn State after attending 3 pro bowls, gaining over 10,000 yards, and becoming the all time leader in receptions and receiving yards for the GreenBay Packers Franchise? He won a Superbowl with his counterpart, Greg Jennings, who attended Western Michigan. Two of the most integral parts of “The Greatest Show on Turf” attended average Division 1 schools-Isaac Bruce: Memphis, Torry Holt: North Carolina State. Roddy White, a vital part of the new greatest show on turf attended Alabama at Birmingham. Here is a list of notable others:
Antonio Brown-Central Michigan
Brandon Marshall- UCF
Vincent Jackson- Northern Colorado
There are a few current receivers that have attended huge football schools such as Julio Jones, A.J. Green, and Dwayne Bowe, just to name a few. Quantitatively there is much more of these weaker football teams to look for potential talent. But why is it that we don’t see this as much with other positions? There are cases where this happens for quarterback, runningback, ect…but not nearly as much as wide receiver. This stat probably holds no relevance for predicting future NFL drafts. For this 2013 draft, however, could we find another small school great? Perhaps in rookies Quinton Patton-Louisiana Tech or Da’Rick Rogers-Tennessee Tech (Transfer from Tennessee).