LARAMIE -- Here's a no-brainer -- unless you have a vote for the College Football Hall of Fame, I guess -- Marcus Harris Monday was named the No. 22 pass catcher in ESPN's "College football's 50 greatest wide receivers of the past 50 years" list.


You shouldn't be.

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The only thing that could be argued here is that 22 is way too low for a guy who held nearly every major receiving record when he wrapped up his career at the University of Wyoming back in 1996, Fred Biletnikoff Trophy in hand.

Before you go to your keyboard and think about calling Harris a "system receiver," playing in Joe Tiller's basketball-on-grass offense, ask yourself this: Why didn't a BYU wideout break the all-time yards record with LaVell Edwards at the helm? How about a receiver under guys like Mike Leach, Don Coryell or Jack Pardee?

You know, coaches that throw the ball all the time and arguably have better passing offenses than Tiller ever dreamed of? Those guys above produced a pair of Heisman winners -- Ty Detmer and Andre Ware -- but just one guy they threw the ball to -- Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree -- is on this Top-50 list.

You can say they had more weapons than UW. The ball got spread around more. OK, well then why didn't opposing defenses just take Harris out of the equation -- double-team, jam at the line, etc. -- and make guys like Richard Peace and David Saraf beat them instead?

Harris's 4,518 career receiving yards was the standard until Nevada's Trevor Insley (5,005 yards) broke the record three years later.

You have to keep this in mind, too, though -- Harris caught just one pass for 14 yards during his freshman season.

Imagine if Harris took a redshirt season in 1993 instead?

And how about the guy he replaced in the Cowboys' lineup, Ryan Yarborough, who used to be the proud owner of that record and is still ninth today with 4,374 receiving yards?

Maybe he could have added to his still-standing record of three consecutive seasons with at least 1,400 receiving yards? Maybe he has a lot more than 38 touchdowns to his credit or an average of 137.5 receiving yards per game? Both of those stats, by the way, are still in the Top 20 in NCAA history.

Harris was a two-time All-American, including a consensus pick in '96. He also finished ninth on the Heisman ballot that season.

Here's how ESPN's list shook out (You can subscribe to ESPN-Plus right here):

50. Sammy Watkins, Clemson

49. JJ Stokes, UCLA

48. Steve Largent, Tulsa

47. Herman Moore, Virginia

46. Trevor Insley, Nevada

45. Kirk Gibson, Michigan State

44. AJ Green, Georgia

43. Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma

42. Golden Tate, Notre Dame

41. Denario Alexander, Missouri

40. Aaron Turner, Pacific

39. Ozzie Newsome, Alabama

38. Troy Edwards, Louisiana Tech

37. Tavon Austin, West Virginia

36. Justin Jefferson, Arizona State

35. Mike Haas, Oregon State

34. Corey Davis, Western Michigan

33. Wes Chandler, Florida

32. Mike Evans, Texas A&M

31. Brandin Cooks, Oregon State

30. Marquise Lee, USC

29. Terrance Williams, Baylor

28. Mike Williams, USC

27. Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

26. Braylon Edwards, Michigan

25. Amari Cooper, Alabama

24. Tory Holt, North Carolina State

23. Michael Irvin, Miami

22. Marcus Harris, Wyoming

21. Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma

20. Wendell Davis, LSU

19. Charles Rogers, Michigan State (You can read my feature on Rogers HERE.)

18. Hart Lee Dykes, Oklahoma State

17. Josh Reed, LSU

16. James Washington, Oklahoma State

15. Reidel Anthony, Florida

14. Ja' Marr Chase, LSU

13. Bobby Engram, Penn State

12. Peter Warrick, Florida State

11. Anthony Carter, Michigan

10. Keshawn Johnson, USC

9. Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech

8. Tim Brown, Notre Dame

7. Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska

6. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech

5.Desmond Howard, Michigan

4. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State

3. DeVonta Smith, Alabama

2. Larry Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh

1. Randy Moss, Marshall

Of those 50 selections, only Davis, Insley and Broyles have more career receiving yards than Harris.


Want to see more former Cowboy players join Jay Novacek and Eddie Talboom in the College Football Hall of Fame? You can join the Wyoming chapter of the National Football Foundation right HERE. You can also reach out to the local head of the chapter, Heath Hayes, right HERE.

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