Recently, our colleagues at the Big Ten blog determined the five best players at each position in the history of their conference. We thought it was interesting, so we're following suit.
A couple of notes: We'll be basing these lists on the college careers of the players, not on how they fared in the NFL. And with apologies to LaDainian Tomlinson and Pat White, only players that wore Big 12 logos at the time they played -- and only the seasons they played while part of the Big 12 -- were considered to keep this consistent.
Our rankings continue today with the Big 12’s best-ever receivers:
1. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech (2007-08): The former Red Raiders receiver dominated games in ways few receivers can match. A two-time Biletnikoff Award winner and consensus All-American, Crabtree had 231 receptions for 3,127 yards and 41 touchdowns during his time in Lubbock, Texas. He averaged 8.9 receptions and 120.3 receiving yards in 26 career games. Eight years later the image of Crabtree shaking off a Texas defender and willing his way into the end zone remains seared into the memories of Big 12 fans conference-wide.
2. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (2009-11): Another dominant receiver capable of taking over games, Blackmon helped the Cowboys to their lone Big 12 championship in 2011. A two-time Biletnikoff winner, Blackmon had back-to-back seasons with more than 100 receptions while finishing his career with 253 receptions for 3,564 yards and 40 touchdowns in 38 career games. He imposed his will in his final collegiate game, finishing with eight receptions for 186 yards and three touchdowns to help the Cowboys knock off Stanford and Andrew Luck in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl.
3. Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma (2008-11): One of the most consistent players in Big 12 history, Broyles finished his career as college football’s all-time leading pass-catcher with 349 career receptions (before East Carolina’s Justin Hardy broke his record). Broyles was a key member of Oklahoma’s offense for four seasons, passing 1,000 receiving yards in each of his final three seasons before finishing with 4,586 yards and 45 touchdowns in 48 career games.
4. Rashaun Woods, Oklahoma State (2000-03): Blackmon, Dez Bryant and Hart Lee Dykes all find themselves looking up at Woods in Oklahoma State’s record book. The former Cowboy finished his career with 293 receptions for 4,414 yards and 42 touchdowns in four seasons in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Everyone knew Woods was the main man in Oklahoma State’s offense yet still struggled to stop him as he had at least 75 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his final three seasons.
5. Tyler Lockett, Kansas State (2011-14): His impact on Bill Snyder’s Wildcats cannot be overshadowed. Lockett played a key role on a Big 12 title team in 2012 before becoming the driving force on a squad that played for the Big 12 championship on the final day of the 2014 regular season. All told, Lockett finished his career with 249 receptions for 3,710 yards and 29 touchdown in a deliberate Wildcats offense that averaged a Big 12-low 66.5 plays per game during his four seasons (75 was the league average).