K-State Football Mount Rushmore: Wide Receiver

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Texas Tech

Last week I wrote about K-State running backs’ Mount Rushmore. I thought I’d get a little more headwind, but most people seemed to agree with my choices. That shouldn’t be the case for wide receivers this week.

As with the running backs, two of my picks among K-State fans are likely to agree. The other two can lead to discussion, if not argument. Regardless, I’m picking the K-State wide receiver’s Mount Rushmore here.

Jordi Nelson

Nelson joined K-State in 2003 and was originally slated to play defense. Bill Snyder
propelled him to wide receiver in 2004. The rest is history. He holds numerous K-State reception records,
and his name appears in the record book as often or more often than anyone else. Nelson was a first-team All-Big
12 in 2007 and was a consensus All-American in 2007. In 2008, he was drafted to the second round
the Green Bay Packers NFL draft and had a very successful NFL career. He made it to the Pro Bowl
in 2014 and led the league in touchdown catches in 2016. He also won a Super Bowl with the Packers
in 2011.

There is one game in Nelson’s career that I remember above all others. It happened during the 2007 K-State/KU game. KU star cornerback Aquib Talib was covering, or at least trying to cover, for Jordy Nelson. Nelson ran right past Talib and ridiculed him at the play for a 68-yard touchdown pass from Josh Freeman. Talib and Nelson would both play in the NFL, but Nelson defeated him that day.

Here are some of the K-State records held by Jordy Nelson…

  • School record for receptions in a game, 15, twice.
  • School record for receptions in one season.
  • Third place in career receptions.
  • School record for receptions per game in a single season and career.
  • The number three and four best yardage plays in school history.
  • School record for receiving mileage in a season.
  • Third in career to receive yardage.
  • School record for receiving yards per game in a season.
  • Fourth in career touchdowns.

Tyler Lockett

Tyler Lockett played at K-State from 2011 to 2014. A two-time first-team All-Big 12 pick, he was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft. Lockett has had a lot of success in the NFL, making it to the Pro Bowl in 2015 and the team’s second All-Pro in 2016 and 2017. His name is in the K-State record books, as is Jordy Nelson. Here’s a sample…

  • Second and third place in receptions in a season.
  • School certificate for professional receptions.
  • The top two yardage plays in school history and five of the top 10.
  • School record for career reception.
  • School record for careers receiving touchdowns.

Kevin Lockett

Kevin Lockett played for K-State from 1993 to 1996. He is also Tyler’s father. Kevin was a first-team All-Big 12 in 1996, the same year he led the league in receptions. During his playing days, he set the K-State record for career receptions, yards and touchdowns. All of them were recordings by Michael Smith. The records he set have since been broken, but Kevin is still close to the top in a few key categories….

  • Second in career touchdowns.
  • Second place in career.
  • Top 4 career receptions per game.
  • Second place in career receptions.

Michael Schmidt

Michael Smith played for K-State from 1988 to 1991. Considering all the great receivers that have played for K-State since Smith graduated, his numbers still hold up pretty well. During his playing days, Smith set the school record for receptions, yards and touchdowns. This is where he currently sits in the K-State record books.

Fourth place in career receptions.
Fourth place in career.
Top 10 career touchdowns.

As Smith ranks fourth on the all-time list for receptions and reception yards, and has set numerous school records during his playing days, he gets the final nod over some other receivers I’ve considered. Quincy Morgan nearly made the top four, and if he had played four seasons at K-State instead of just two, he might have broken some K-State reception records. Today he is third in career touchdowns,
First in career yards per game, holds and is the school record for receiving touchdowns in a season
Sixth in career receiving yards.

K-State has had so many great recipients over the years. Guys like Aaron Lockett, Darnell McDonald, Mitch Running, Curry Sexton, Chris Harper, Brandon Banks, Dave Jones, James Terry, Chris Harper, Andre Coleman, Byron Pringle and the list goes on and on. It’s going to be tough for anyone to break into K-State wide receiver Mount Rushmore, that’s for sure.

Next come the tight ends.

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