Top WRs, picks 11-15

A couple of decades ago Tennessee was known as "Wide Receiver U." If you question the validity of that nickname, try compiling a list of great Vol wideouts over the past four decades, then whittling it to 10.

I couldn't do it. That's why I'm breaking precedent and ranking UT's top 15 receivers of the 1964-2004 time frame, instead of just the top 10. How strong was the competition? Consider this: Clyde Duncan, a first-round NFL Draft pick, didn't even make my list.

Here are picks 11 through 15:

15. CRAIG FAULKNER: Proving White Men CAN jump – and run – he bounced back from a broken wrist suffered in a motorcycle accident to lead UT with 40 receptions in 1993. He ranks eighth on the all-time list in career catches (110) and 10th in career yardage (1,705). His 15.5 yards-per-catch average shows he could motor, too.

14. WILLIE GAULT: His sprinter speed made him a threat to go all the way at any time but his shaky hands made him a threat to drop the ball at any time. Based on one big year (50 catches, 668 yards in 1982) and tremendous skills as a return man, he was a first-round pick in the '83 NFL Draft. He ultimately spent 11 years in the pros.

13. MARCUS NASH: He ranks second among all Vols in career catches (177) and career yards (2,447) but Nash's numbers were inflated by the pass-happy offense UT ran during the Peyton Manning years. He was a fine receiver but not as outstanding as his numbers suggest.

12. ANTHONY MILLER: A junior college transfer, Miller's stats at UT were modest because Thomas Woods already was established as the Vols' go-to receiver. Still, Miller proved to be such a big-play threat that the San Diego Chargers used a first-round pick on him in the 1988 NFL Draft. Miller played 10 years in the NFL, amassing 595 receptions for 9,148 yard and 63 TDs.

11. THOMAS "TD" WOODS: I covered just about every Vol football practice for The Knoxville Journal during Woods' tenure (1986-89) and I saw him drop one ball in four years … games AND practice combined. Except for Larry Seivers, he had the surest hands I've ever seen. Only 5-10 with so-so speed, Woods was a possession receiver who found creases and caught everything thrown his way. He scored just seven career touchdowns but ranks fifth in career receptions with 124.

P.S. – We'll post picks 6-10 and picks 1-5 later today.


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