From Reddit: Who are the best 5 receivers in your schools history?

Link to Reddit thread

As per traditional offseason postings, opinion based posts like this one always catch my eye. I commented with this:

  1. Antonio Freeman
  2. Bryan Still
  3. Andre Davis
  4. Isaiah Ford
  5. Ernest Wilford

Most of the responses to me have agreed with 4 of the 5, but would instead replace Bryan Still with Eddie Royal. My argument is that while both had similar yardage totals in their upperclassman years and were big time playmakers in the return game, Still had a higher yards per catch (18 vs 14) and I cant undersell the impact he had on the university, shining his brightest on the biggest stage to help put us on the map in the '95 Sugar Bowl

So TKP, who are your top 5 receivers? Why did you leave X out in favor of Y (pun intended). I find this particular position interesting to discuss because like many teams, VT was a run based offense for the longest time.

As an aside, if this gains traction perhaps we can do top 5 for each position in future posts. I believe we've done top 5 QB's before but I couldnt find posts for lineman, kickers, etc

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

1. Dylan...

2. Dylan...

3. Dylan 4. Dylan 5. DYLAN

CAUSE I SPIT HOT FIRE

@Fightin_Gobbler

Go Hokies

Go Falcons

I'm a man! I'm 44! Hokie thru and thru.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

1 - Freeman
2 - Davis
3 - Still
4 - Royal
5 - Ford

I'll put Davis up a little higher because he absolutely torched everyone when Vick was dishing it out to him. He was one of the few who MV7 couldn't overthrow. Freeman is still #1 because of course he is. Still is there for the reasons you state, but I have to include Eddie Royal. He was a legit great WR for us during a time when we were beginning to show we didn't know how to run an effective offense, even with the talent we did. His sheer talent is why he wasn't wasted, which is why he's had a good NFL career. I'd say Ford edges out Wilford, but its really close. I have to give it to Ford because he did it in an absolutely critical time where if he wasn't an absolute baller, our bowl streak is over and Fuente doesn't make the ACCCG in Year 1.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

I have to give it to Ford because he did it in an absolutely critical time where if he wasn't an absolute baller, our bowl streak is over and Fuente doesn't make the ACCCG in Year 1. is still our only two 1,000 yard receivers in school history

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I know it sounds like I'm taking away from Ford's accomplishment, but this is why I love this particular argument, because Davis would be a 1000 yard receiver if we counted bowl games back then, Ford also had the extra conference championship game. Ford also played in a more balanced offense that passed more than the offense that Wilford played in. Should it be held against Wilford just because he played in an offense that ran the ball 60-70% of the time?

They'll really get after ya

Should it be held against Wilford ... well, no. But at the same time, he also benefited from being in an offense that ran the call 60-70% of the time because safeties were cheating to defend the run more than cheating to double up on him.

Arguments like this are always really hard. Would Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb still be Hall of Famers if they had to face the variety of pitches and the number of relievers that modern pitchers do, instead of being able to just sit back and wait for the next inevitable fastball? Trying to compare players from different eras is always hard - even if the eras are only one offensive schema apart.

I love me some Eddie Royal, but you are reaching if this is based on production in the college game. But Eddie in Fuente's offense is something I would like to see.

“I turned down 12 other opportunities. You know what I mean?” - Fuente

Savoy
Grimsley
Patterson
Kumah
Turner

I'm pretty optimistic

Here lies It's a Stroman Jersey I Swear, surpassed in life by no one because he intercepted it.

I like your style sir

They'll really get after ya

1. Freeman
2. Ford
3. Royal
4. Davis
5. Phillips

I'll put Cam in at 5....I'm a prisoner to the moment....

And ya know I could be the opposite where I'm trying so hard to not be a prisoner of the moment that I'm keeping him off just because of that.

They'll really get after ya

I think it's basically it's Freeman, Still, Davis, Royal and Ford. But I also wanted to give some shout out to some of favs that may not have had the numbers.

1. Corny White
2. Shawn Scales
3. Ricky Hall
4. Josh Morgan
5. Danny Coale

I was wondering when Coale would show up. He's still open, isn't he?

1. Byrn
2. Byrn
3. Byrne
4. Burn
5. Bernie

You put those words together, those are my favorite words, Popeyes and bahama
- Mike Burnup

What about the Paper Boy?

Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin aren't getting enough love

I got you covered...

Biggest Hands for a VT Wide Receiver

1)Boykin
2)Boykin
3)Boykin
4)Boykin
5)Boykin

“I turned down 12 other opportunities. You know what I mean?” - Fuente

I was wondering when someone would mention Coale. Seriously. Coale absolutely delivered. He may not have been as flashy as some of the others listed, but HE CAUGHT THE BALL, and pretty much every ball thrown his way. He ran some of the cleanest routes and was so reliable in getting first downs.

Never underestimate the power of the receiver who could keep drives alive.

I feel obligated to agree with you.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

ROLLING BALL OF BUTCHER KNIFES aka Sam Rogers

1) Freeman (all around good player)
2) Davis (Deep threat to Vick Bombs)
3) Ford (best hands in small spaces)
4) Royal (Deep Threat speedster)
5) Wilford (Redzone monster)

"Welcome to the Terror Dome." -- Corey Moore

I second this list.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Ernest Wilford Red zone monster

/Miami flashback triggered

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

This is a huge throwback, but I feel like Carrol Dale needs to crack our top 5. Retired Jersey. 3 time NFL Champion including Superb Owl 1 and 2. 84th All Time NFL receiving yards. Tied for 13th All Time yards per catch. 3 time Probowler.

Recruit Prosim

While I'm not against Dale being up there, are we considering NFL success in our top 5? cuz if so, Royal definitely had a better career than Still and the 1/2 is probably Freeman/Dale. I was just thinking college career but I had Dale 7th in my head...perhaps he should be higher considering the All-American status

They'll really get after ya

I think you can't not consider NFL success, as that does help with recruiting in the bigger picture. I'd also put a bigger weight on how they performed when the stage got bigger. Eddie Royal kicked off the GT comeback and scored the go-ahead TD against Miami in 2004. Those were huge moments in that season and has to be considered.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Top 5 huge moments for receivers at VT?

1. Jermaine Holmes - 1995 vs UVA
2. Eddie Royal - 2004 vs Miami
3. Danny Coale - 2009 vs Nebraska
4. Eddie Royal - 2004 vs GT
5. Jarrett Boykin - 2009 vs Tennessee (Chick-fil-A Bowl)

I'm sure I'm missing a ton, but these are what stand out without a lot of thought.

I'd put Danny Coale at 5 on the list, only because that play happened because he was inexplicably left wide open and Tryod took advantage of it. The others were the WR making something out of absolutely nothing. Eddie Royal legitimately just outran the defense on both of those TDs, and Holmes and Boykin happened because they got behind the secondary and had the speed to keep the advantage.

If we're counting TEs, I'd have to include Bucky against Ohio St in the Top 3.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Holmes and Boykin happened because they got behind the secondary and had the speed to keep the advantage.

How is that different from Danny Coale?

Coale got caught at the 3 yard line

They'll really get after ya

Boykin didn't get in the end zone either

You got me there xD. I had forgotten he did get stopped short.

Tbh I actually pretty strongly disagree with some of the picks above, like I said holmes at 1 is okay but no Still '95 Sugar Bowl, no Davis '00 vs WVU. I would take those two moments/games and replace the Coale/Boykins moments on the list

They'll really get after ya

I would say Coale was open because of a complete blown assignment while at least Boykin (I'll have to go back and watch the Holmes play, but I think it counts here, too) simply beat his man to get open. Coale took advantage of a broken defense, the others actively created the break to succeed.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Yeah but the Nebraska secondary had that blown assignment because Coale had already caught one pass for 8 yards in the 2nd quarter. They had to respect his ability to make plays underneath. Always playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers, that Danny.

Bryan Still vs Texas in the Sugar Bowl trumps most all of those in my book. That game put us on the map for our current string of successes. It was a good year, but that game was big. Still was big in that game (MVP).
He didn't put up the flashy numbers a lot of these other guys did. But, it almost always seemed like a given that he was going on a deep route, Druckenmiller was going to launch it, and we were getting yards.

Another note is that Still was living in Freeman's shadow for his first three years. If he's the #1 receiver for more than one year, he's probably sitting a lot higher on the records list.

I dont mind Holmes at number 1...but no Still 1995 Sugar Bowl vs Texas? Not just the 100+ yards receiving he had on top of the punt return TD he did to really get that ball rolling...We were still an up and coming football program...many people hadnt even heard of us yet...that game really put us on the map and his performance went a long way toward it.

Coale had an all time great catch vs Nebraska...but it was only 1 catch, I dont really remember him doing much else that day (tbf...the offense in general didnt do much that day)

They'll really get after ya

I was thinking individual plays more than overall games. And I thought about Still's punt return vs Texas, but I was focused on catches. If we include punt returns, I'd probably think of Royal's vs Clemson, too.

Coale had an all time great catch vs Nebraska...but it was only 1 catch, I dont really remember him doing much else that day (tbf...the offense in general didnt do much that day)

Because Suh. That was a frustrating game. In fact aside from the very end it was a crappy game to watch.

Dyrell Roberts is flying under the radar for important catches in that game by the way.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Andre Davis vs West Virginia

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

In regards to your argument on performing when the stage got bigger...how many games has VT had that were bigger than the 1995 Sugar Bowl? That was a program defining win and Still shined his brightest

If you cant already tell by my other comments...I'm a huge Bryan Still fan xD

They'll really get after ya

Danny Coale vs FSU in 2010 ACC Champ game. 143 yds and 1 td. Coale was literally open the entire game.

I watched that game in charlotte with a major FSU fan. He just kept saying that to himself all night and entire night after.

"He was just open the whole game"

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Dale, Freeman, Still, Davis, Ford

The recency bias is strong with you people.

i didnt know they had the forward pass that long ago /s

"Welcome to the Terror Dome." -- Corey Moore

Good to see Carroll Dale getting a little love in this discussion.

I love seeing Bryan Still up here...my old Phys Ed teacher in High School

I know there have been a lot more physically skilled players at tech (davis, royal, freeman) but Jarrett Boykin led the team in receiving 3 years straight. He should be in there.

Bud/Wiles 2020

Best Receivers That Virginia Tech Has Played Against:
1) Calvin Johnson
2) Larry Fitzgerald
3) Marvin Harrison
4) Andre Johnson
5) Reggie Wayne

Julio Jones, Desean Jackson, Deandre Hopkins

Bud/Wiles 2020

Which 3 would you remove from the list?

Haha none of them. Just threw some names out there. Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald against Tech might be 2 of the top 5 performances I've ever watched someone put up on us.

Bud/Wiles 2020

Those two, Giovani Bernard, Aaron Rodgers, Christion Jones. Ouch.

I nominate 2002 Willis McGahee.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Agreed. They both tore us up. I just remember being like:

Demaryius Thomas too

Chem PhD '16

When did we play against DeSean Jackson?

#TeamPeanutButter - because your cakes, pies, cookies, and ice creams are better with it!

You're right, I don't think he was on the team in 2003

Chem PhD '16

Does Reggie Bush count? Because throwing to him was the only offense USC could muster against us in 2004 and he killed us.

I still think we would have won that game had Hyman not gotten called for that offensive PI.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

I still think We would have won that game had Hyman not gotten called for that offensive PI.

FTFY.

That call and Danny Coale's catch are two of the most atrocious examples of officiating I've ever witnessed. Ironically, both involved the Pac-12 in some capacity... (*mumbled angry conspiracy theories*)

I would root for the Russians before I would root for Virginia.

Antonio Bryant looked like Jerry Rice every game against VT.. I'd put him on here.

Yes, that guy can flat out play.

I'd be okay with him - maybe instead of Andre Johnson? Between Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Miami products, it's pretty easy to come up with 5 guys, of which are NFL HOF'ers as well.

Don't forget Peter Warrick

Chem PhD '16

still pissed he played in the national championship game.... was so glad to see him disappear with the bengals

"Welcome to the Terror Dome." -- Corey Moore

Interesting side topic - I thought he should have been suspended the entire year for the Dillard's incident. Do you think he would have been if it happened in 2018 vs. 1999?

Danny Coale who caught that ball is not on the list so it is obviously flawed and illogical in its construction

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Give me:
1. Freeman
2. Carroll Dale
3. Davis- Andre not Marcus
4. Ford
5. Royal

Best list I've seen.

Still is getting too much love as the best receiver of his generation. He's 3rd WR on a team with Coale/Boykin or Royal/Morgan or Ford/Bucky.

eh pump the brakes on bucky. If he could have learned to stay on his feet after catching the ball maybe, but dude seemed like he fell down everytime he caught the ball, no matter the situation lol.. he was money in the redzone though, made some really nice catches out of ugly throws.

I think if you don't have Ford in your top 3, your list is just wrong.

Dale has his jersey retired. Boykin, Ford and Philips all set school receiving records. Freeman and Davis are for sure in the top 5. Out of those, I think Boykin is #6 simply because he had production taken away by Coale, Roberts and Davis.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

5 is a challenge. Longer list:

1. Ford
2. Freeman
3. Dale
4. Boykin
5. Royal
6. Davis
7. Coale
8. Bucky
9. Still
10. Phillips
11. Wiliford
12. Morgan

it makes you have to make hard decisions and gets the discussion started :P

They'll really get after ya

This is sometimes how I go about my work. Requirements too difficult? Suggest new requirements that make my job easier.

1. Freeman
2. Dale
3. Davis
4. Ford
5. Royal

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

I know we haven't had too many superstar receivers, but we've had some really damn good/ reliable ones in Blacksburg...except for the Demetri Knowles/Marcus Davis years, those were pretty rough.

I don't know about "best" but Chesapeake Bay Receiver will always be one of my favorites

Chem PhD '16

of all the joke responses in here, yours was the one to make me laugh.

Best blocking receivers:

1) Marcus Davis

I would root for the Russians before I would root for Virginia.

Top 10 in my lifetime:

1) Antonio Freeman
2) Isaiah Ford
3) Andre Davis
4) Eddie Royal
5) Ricky Hall
6) Cam Phillips
7) Jarrett Boykin
8) Danny Coale
9) Bryan Still
10) Josh Morgan
11) Ernest Wilford

From 5-11 you could re-order by preference and there wouldn't be a wrong answer.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Great list. Josh Morgan has to be in the top 10 IMO. He was just as good as Eddie Royal in college.

FWIW, I'd move Boykin up a couple of spots and I'd have Ford and Davis 1 and 2 (maybe Davis 1). Freeman was awesome, but I don't think his college career was as good as Ford or Davis. Also, I'm a little bit confused about Ricky Hall in the top 10.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

My only problem with Boykin is, he dropped a lot of balls that he should have caught. He was productive in how many times he was thrown to, and what he caught produced yards and touchdowns, but the thing I remember the most about him was how prolific our offense could have been if he were more reliable catching the ball.

You and I remember Boykin very differently. That was the case his freshman year (and was also the case for Coale and Roberts, to an extent which did Glennon no favors). Trust me, 2008 ECU in Charlotte was my first game as a freshman MV and I recall Boykin letting one hit him in the facemask.

But after that I feel like he was pretty reliable.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Unfortunately, we don't have stats for that to go back to that I'm aware of. We have his receptions, yardage, and touchdowns, but not how many times he was targeted versus how many times he actually caught the ball. I tried looking it up to prove the point, but short of looking at game tape for all those years and counting targets and drops, there's no way to show that.

The biggest reason I remember that is because I had discussions with friends at the time about how, in his senior year he broke the record for completions, but he could have broken it sooner if he didn't drop the ball so frequently throughout his career.

I think Boykin can be recognized as one of the best (he was) while also acknowledging that he was good for about a half a dozen big drops over the course of the season. Like I said, 5-11 can be reordered based on individual perception and no answer would really be wrong.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

You forgot Carroll Dale ;)

Recruit Prosim

I wasn't alive when Dale played. :) Very nice man though.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

That was a poor attempt at an old man joke.

Recruit Prosim

Lets say your top 5 is on the same team. Is your #1 guy the most productive? This is hard because having to pick the offense etc. But our offense was so weird for many years and we had some very good receivers who saved our ass many times. We dont win the ACC in 04 without Eddie Royal (who was a freshman). Boykin saved us many many times. Same goes for Wilford. I remember a lot of games that I felt like he was our only chance, and a pretty good one, at scoring a needed TD. Andre Davis was hurt a lot his last couple years and had to catch balls from some pretty shoddy QB's. He just had a knack of getting open on the deep ball. Health and better QB play (post Vick) and he might have been reguarded as the best. How good (great) would Freeman have been on one of our better offenses with probably better QB play than he had? You cant win without having an above average receiving corps these days. If I had to pick 5 for one team nowadays I would go with:
Davis
Royal
Boykin
Ford
Freeman

I am tempted to put Wilford over Ford. I really dont think Ford could have done what Wilford did under the circumstances. I do believe in a Fuente offense, Ford would be the guy however.

I'd take Freeman first, 100 times out of 100. He was a terrific all around player who made any QB better. Davis was a vertical threat who could take advantage of the Hokies ability eat up safety help with the running game. I don't think he was a guy who, if you needed that 8 yard slant on third and 6 against good coverage, who gets that consistently. Freeman did, and that is why he had a more productive NFL career.

I think Ford vs Wilford is tough. For me, Ford was just so damn smooth to watch (and I believe that Ford was better in Loeffler's offense than in Fuente's- granted I think Ford was banged up the last half of his year with Fuente.) Ford was the first guy who looked like he completely outclassed every DB thrown at him, even as a sophomore. Wilford, maybe I am just a jerk, but when I hear his name, all I can see is the drop against Miami. That was one of the most painful moments I experienced as a VT fan. I have heard he is a good dude, and he was a very productive player with less than terrific QBs feeding him. But, I just can't put him above Ford.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

To your last point, I think it's a fair point to hold a failure against a player when speaking on his legacy, since legacy should include both good and the bad. Ford doesnt really have any bad moments such as that working against him. So I'd say it's fair to put Ford above Wilford for that reason

They'll really get after ya

I don't have a problem with that assessment, but I don't really hold the Miami drop against Wilford for a few reasons. I think he used that drop as motivation. When that happened he was a sophomore and wasn't on the field much. He had 8 catches that year. I guess my point is it wasn't like Wilford was the guy at that point. He still dropped it, however. But Wilford did come to the program as a DE. Ford was brought in as a big time WR.

The next two years after the drop, Wilford had 50 some catches and 925 and 886 yards receiving. At that time, may have been the best two years of any VT WR and were big numbers for what we were used to. And would be used to for the next 10 years or so.

Willie Byrn should get more love too. Plus he's dreamy with perfect chin structure.

Bud/Wiles 2020

Mrs. APFOW, is that you?

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

At the Miami game last year I went down to get drinks at the end of the first quarter and came back to see Willie sitting in seat next to my girlfriend. I thought she was a goner.

Bud/Wiles 2020

I would have wound up divorced. Mrs. APFOW loves her some Willie B.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Is this an inside joke from the locker room?

Also, I did the research and found your identity. I'll keep it a secret though.

Just a little one. Willie producing the way he did in '13 with a brand new system and not a lot of previous playing time was great to see though.

Bud/Wiles 2020

two words.....Greg....Boone.

all other entries invalid

Danny caught it.

Excellent choice. I do hope we get the WildTurkey back into the playbook.

“I turned down 12 other opportunities. You know what I mean?” - Fuente