Florida’s Top 10 Wide Receivers

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Florida's Ike Hilliard outsteps Kentucky's Tony Woods on his way to a second-quarter touchdown at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [File]

So here was the idea. In 2006, we ranked the top 100 Florida football players on the 100th anniversary of Florida football. A lot of players have been stars since then, so let’s re-rank them. But that would mean kicking some of those players to the curb. So instead, we give you this as you try to take your minds off things — the Top 10 Gators at each position over the last 114 years of football. This is the second of a 13-part series.

Today — The wide receivers.

Up next — The running backs.

  1. Ike Hilliard (1994-96) — One of the quickest receivers in school history, he’ll always be remembered for his ankle-breaking cut that set him free for a touchdown reception in the national championship game against FSU his senior season. In only three seasons, he piled up 126 receptions (seventh most in school history) for 2,214 yards and 29 touchdowns (second-most in SEC history)
  2. Percy Harvin (2006-08) — One of the most dynamic and explosive offensive players in UF history, Harvin carved up opposing offenses as both a receiver and runner. He was the first player to have 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in a game. He scored 32 touchdowns — 19 rushing, 13 receiving — in his career and is UF’s all-time leading rushing receiver with 1,852 yards.
  3. Wes Chandler (1974-77) — One of the quickest, fastest, smoothest athletes to put on the orange and blue, Chandler managed to become a two-time All-American despite being a wide receiver playing in a wishbone offense. He had 92 career receptions for 1,93 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also rushed for six touchdowns in becoming the highest-scoring non-kicker in UF history at the time with 172 points.
  4. Chris Doering (1993-95) — From local walk-on to one of the best receivers in the nation and in school history, what a story this guy lived out under Steve Spurrier. He had the iconic “Doering’s got a touchdown” moment in the last-second win at Kentucky in 1993. But that was just the start. For his career, he went on to catch 149 passes for 2,107 yards and an SEC-record 31 touchdowns. He finished it with a huge senior season in which he had 70 receptions, 17 that went for TDs.
  5. Reidel Anthony (1994-96) — You didn’t say Ike without Reidel back in 1996, UF’s first national championship season. Anthony actually put together a year even bigger than Hilliard’s, catching 72 passes (second-most in school history) for 1,293 yards (also second-best in UF history) and 18 touchdowns, which led the nation that season. For his career, he had 126 receptions for 2,274 yards and 26 touchdowns.
  6. Carlos Alvarez (1969-71) — As one of the Super Sophs in 1969, this speedy receiver from Miami put together the greatest season by a Florida wide receiver, catching a school-record 88 passes for 1,329 yards and 12 TDs. A knee injury hampered him his next two seasons, but he closed out his career in a big way, catching 15 passes for 238 yards against Miami in his hometown in his final college game.
  7. Jacquez Green (1994-97) — Spurrier and Dwayne Dixon took this dual-threat high school quarterback and developed him into one of the nation’s best college wide receivers. Green was a first-team All-American in 1997 after catching 61 passes for 1,024 yards and nine TDs. In a win at Auburn that year, he scored a touchdown rushing, passing and receiving.
  8. Jabar Gaffney (2000-01) — He had one of the most remarkable two-season runs in school history, combining for 138 receptions for 2,375 yards and 27 touchdowns. He came out of nowhere as a redshirt freshman in 2000 to catch 71 passes for 1,184 yards. He followed 67 catches for 1,191 yards the following season before heading off to the NFL.
  9. Jack Jackson (1992-94) — Yet another high school quarterback who was turned into an elite college wide receiver by Spurrier and Dixon. He had a huge year in 1994, earning first-team All-American honors after catching 57 passes for 855 yards and 15 touchdowns. He finished his career with 143 catches for 2,266 yards and 29 touchdowns.
  10. Andre Caldwell (2003-07) — Some might argue that Caldwell should be a lot higher on the list. Afterall, he’s UF’s all-time reception leader (185 catches) and third in receiving yardage (2,349). After catching a whole bunch of bubble screens early in his career under Ron Zook, he became a dynamic wide receiver down the field in his last two seasons under Urban Meyer and Billy Gonzales.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Honorable mention to Ricky “The Rocket” Nattiel. One of my favorite Gator memories is sitting in the student section at Doak Campbell in the rain in ’86 and watching Kerwin hit Nattiel late in the fourth quarter to take the lead. Stay safe everyone. Go Gators!

  2. Whatever happened to Gator 6, Joe, Sly and the rest of the old Gator gang on here? Hope all you guys are staying well and making it through this global Twilight Zone bad dream ok. Guess not much exciting to chat about during the sports draught, but I miss the reliable chuckles and distractions. Who’d have ever thought we’d come to a time when the sports writers and fans have nothing pressing in the sports world to carry on about? Now we’re down to ranking lists. At least Robbie, Pat, et al, are trying to keep the pot stirred. Gotta give us something to chew on for our ten bucks. Or maybe this dries up until the war against the virus is over. But it’s hard to go cold turkey from good ole Gator sports chatter.

    • I don’t know about the others but I was practicing social media distancing so as not to get infected with something fierce from aliens. I was under the impression that the virus can be transmitted from the web to humans.

      On a more serious note, perhaps in the future, we will look back to today as the turning point in our struggle against the Corona Virus. I am hopeful that today’s FDA’s approval of the rapid point-of-care testing will flatten the curve and provide us time until we can get the upper hand with a vaccine or drug. It is inexplicable that it has taken our advanced country this long to approve such a test when it’s been available worldwide for the most part almost from the outset. When the only test available in this country up until today, and in limited supply at that, required 72 hours to ship to a lab and wait for the results, that’s a lot of time for the infected and those they have been in contact with to infect others. People have a tendency to take more risks and not self isolate when they don’t have symptoms or have been informed they have tested positive.

    • I’m still around, prairie. Just not as active lately, and this is my first log-on in about two weeks. Good to see you and Sly still here, too. Gator-6 and StLGator are around, but they pick their spots. GI and some others are hanging on, as well.

      It saddens me that there are so few comments these days. There were about 2,920 views and only four comments before mine. It’s just not nearly as much fun without the comments. GS.com doesn’t really care about the comments, though. As long as they get views, they’re happy. I wonder how the number of views compares to the “pre-subscription” stats?

      I’ll stay until my one-year subscription runs out, then I’ll have to think hard about it. If football season is cancelled, I’ll probably drop it.

      Go Gators!

  3. Pretty amazing that 5 of the top 10 Gator receivers of all time were on the 1994 team, and 4 of them were all lining up on the field at the same time on that 1995 team. Doering, Quezi, Ike, and Reidel all on the field at the same time with Wuerrfel under center, amazing!