Roy Williams puts his Horns up after a touchdown in the NFL
In the newest installment of the Top 10 series, The Horn breaks down the best receivers in Texas' history.
Given Texas’ storied history, the Longhorns have been blessed with their fair share of offensive playmakers. In this installment of our Top 10 series, we devised our list of the Top 10 wide outs in Texas Football history, while taking into account statistics, impact on winning, and future NFL careers. Without further ado, here are our Top 10 Longhorn wide receivers.
10) Eric Metcalf: (1985-1988)
Last on our list is the explosive Eric Metcalf. Metcalf is considered to be one of the Longhorns most versatile receivers in history as he excelled in both kick and punt returns and led the Longhorns in all-purpose yards in each of his four years. Although technically listed as running back, Metcalf holds every school receiving record for a running back and was the 1987 Southwestern player of the year.
Metcalf is only one of the handful of receivers who had a productive and long NFL career. A three time Pro Bowler as a kick returner, Metcalf played 13 seasons in the NFL with six different teams.
9) B.J. Johnson: (2000-2003)
B.J. Johnson entered his freshman year as part of the highly hyped incoming threesome of receivers with Sloan Thomas and Roy Williams. Although not having quite the college career Roy Williams had, Johnson made a tremendous impact during his time in Austin. When Johnson left the Longhorns in 2003, he ended his career ranked fifth in receiving yards with 2,389 and fifth in career touchdown receptions with 16.
Johnson retired from the NFL in 2006 after a couple of seasons with the Denver Broncos.
8) George Sauer, Jr. (1962-1964)
George Sauer, Jr. is the oldest receiver to make our Top 10 list, coming in at number eight. Although known for his successful NFL career, Sauer was instrumental in helping lead the Longhorns to its national title win in 1963 and Orange Bowl victory in 1965.
Sauer Jr. had a stellar NFL career with his time at the Jets, earning Pro Bowl honors in four consecutive seasons as well as leading the NFL in receptions in 1967. Sauer Jr. also came up clutch in the Jets Super Bowl III victory over the Baltimore Colts, amassing eight catches for 133 yards.
7) Kwame Cavil: (1997-1999)
Kwame Cavil experienced a story-filled two years in his time in burnt orange. Cavil had one of the most productive years as a Longhorn receiver, setting the record at the time for most receptions in a single season with 100 in 1999. However, Cavil was the first Texas player of Mack Brown’s tenure to declare for the draft with another year left of eligibility.
Cavil only spent one nondescript season in the NFL and then joined the CFL in 2000.
6) Mike Adams: (1992-1996)
At the time he left Austin for the NFL, Mike Adams was easily the best wide out in Texas history. A three time Southwestern Conference first team wide receiver, Adams graduated as the all-time leader in receiving yards, career receptions, receiving touchdowns, and career 100-yard receiving games, while also besting Earl Campbell’s all-purpose yards mark.
Adams NFL career was short lived due to a knee injury he sustained during his first season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Adams continued to play on his knee, continuing the damage to his ACL. Adams restarted his football career in the CFL but never earned a second chance in the NFL.
5) Limas Sweed: (2004-2007)
If Limas Sweed had hands, he would be ranked a lot higher on this list. Sweed was blessed with incredible speed, strength, and athleticism and put up some great statistical seasons as a Longhorn. Sweed finished his Texas career third all time in career touchdown receptions with 20 and second all-time in single season touchdowns with 12 in 2006.
Unfortunately, Sweed’s hands plagued his NFL career as he struggled to consistently keep his drops to a minimum. Sweed played his last game in 2009 finishing the year with one reception in nine games; however, Sweed will always be recognized as a dominant force for the Longhorns.
4) Wane McGarity: (1995-1998)
I have Wane McGarity as the best wide receiver before the 2000s largely due to his statistically dominant 1998 season. McGarity finished the season with 1,087 receiving yards and nine receiving touchdowns guiding Texas’ offense in Mack Brown’s first season as head coach.
McGarity’s 1998 must’ve been a blip on the radar screen as he went on to have a very forgetful NFL career playing for the Cowboys and Saints. McGarity finished his career in the CFL but will always have a place in Texas’ record books with his memorable 1998 season.
3) Quan Cosby: (2005-2008)
Quan Cosby comes in at number three on our list as a force on both special teams and as wide receiver. Evolving from a special team stud in his junior year, Cosby blossomed in his final year wearing burnt orange, leading the Longhorns to an upset win over number 1 ranked Oklahoma with nine receptions and 122 yards. Cosby finished his Longhorn career third in all-time receptions with 212, third in single-season receptions with 92, in 2008, and third all-time in single-season yardage with 1,123 receiving yards in 2008.
Cosby has bounced around in his short time spent in the NFL playing for the Bengals, Broncos, and currently the Colts. Although Cosby may not have a long running NFL career, he still remains as one of the most electric Longhorns in history.
2) Jordan Shipley: (2006-2009)
Jordan Shipley could easily be number one on this list had he not battled injuries and played more than two full seasons during his time in Austin. Regardless, Shipley remains one of the most dynamic wide outs in Texas football history. Teaming up with QB Colt McCoy, the Longhorns experienced one of their more successful runs, ending with a BCS National Championship loss to Alabama only after McCoy left the game due to injury.
The Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the NFL draft selected Shipley, but he suffered a season-ending ACL and MCL tear in his knee. Jordan’s younger brother Jaxon Shipley plays receiver for the current edition of the Longhorns. Texas fans can only hope that he lives up to his older brother’s legacy.
1) Roy Williams: (2000-2003)
Coming as a surprise to no one, Roy Williams is far and away the top receiver on our list. Part of the highly touted freshman threesome with Johnson and Sloan Thomas, Williams became the most decorated receiver in Longhorn history, as he is the school’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving touchdowns, and receiving yards. Williams made the Big 12 All Conference team three straight seasons as well as earning MVP honors in the 2003 Cotton Bowl Classic.
Despite William’s stellar collegiate career, he has lost his footing in the NFL. Originally drafted by the Lions, Williams began his career with three solid years becoming a Pro Bowl reserve after the 2006 season. Since then, Williams has struggled, failing to surpass the 40 reception mark since the 2007 season. Williams remains a proud Longhorn as he puts his Horns up after every touchdown reception.