As we enter the college football season (about time), the expectations for the Ohio State Buckeyes are sky high once again. In that regard, there may not be a more talked about position group in the entire country than the Ohio State receivers. Between the talent coming back with Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Jaxon-Smith Njigba and Julian Fleming and the talent coming in with Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr., most people not only view this as the top receiver room in the country this year, but one of the best in recent years.
With a dynamic duo like Wilson and Olave, who come into the season as two of the top receivers in the country, it is hard not to look back at some of the top receiving duos to grace the college football field in recent memory.
I am only going back to 2000 with this list to keep it clean and so the stats are fairly consistent. And let’s be honest, it’s just easier. This list is by no means exhaustive and is in no particular order.
Kassim Osgood and J.R. Tolver, San Diego State 2002
I am starting with this duo because they are probably the least known. But arguable were the most productive. Osgood and Tolver went off for over 1,500 yards each, with only one duo doing the same thing in the past 20 years (Chase and Jefferson).
Tolver was the No. 1 guy, recording 128 catches, 1,785 yards and 13 touchdowns. Osgood recorded 108 catches, 1,552 yards and eight touchdowns.
Unfortunately, the Aztecs still went 4-9 during the 2002 season and with the talent that was on the gridiron around that tome, this duo tends to be forgotten. However, that doesn’t diminish what these guys were able to do as they absolutely tore up the field during the 2002 season and both were unstoppable.
Michael Crabtree and Danny Amendola, Texas Tech 2007
I was only 11 when this duo was hitting the field, but I do not remember Danny Amendola even being on this team. That is how good Michael Crabtree was. Crabtree was truly one of the best receiver’s college football has ever seen and his 2007 season was one of the best individual seasons ever. Amendola was one of the top receivers in the Big 12 and his season could not have been more forgettable because of Crabtree.
Crabtree recorded 134 catches, 1,962 yards and 22 touchdowns in the loaded offense, including one of the most memorable catches in college football history.
Amendola had a solid season as well, recording 109 catches, 1,245 yards and six touchdowns.
It is pretty crazy that a guy who had 100 catches for 1,200 yards was an afterthought for defenses, but Crabtree’s season was one of the best ever. I know I have said that a lot, but its true. So it deserves repeating.
Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby, Texas 2008
This is a personal favorite, because Shipley and Colt McCoy was one of the more fun QB-WR combinations ever. Add in senior Quan Cosby in 2008 and they had an air attack that would have had even the 2001 Miami secondary confused.
Shipley recorded 89 catches, 1,060 yards and 11 touchdowns while Cosby recorded 92 catches, 1,123 yards and 10 touchdowns. Shipley went on to have a better 2009 season but Cosby was gone so their was no duo for the Longhorns that season except for Shipley and Colt McCoy.
Texas went 12-1 that season and these two receivers along with McCoy having an unreal season was a large part why,
Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, LSU 2019
Somehow, as good as the Alabama 2019 offense was, it wasn’t even the best in the conference that year. That title goes to Joe Burrow and the 2019 LSU offense. An absolute juggernaut, the Tigers rode Burrow and his receivers all the way to a national title.
Obviously playing a huge role there was 2019 Biletnikoff winner Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. Chase recorded 84 catches, 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns while Jefferson hauled in 111 catches, 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns. The 38 combined touchdowns is a pretty ridiculous number and one that made Jefferson and Chase a nightmare inside the 30-yard line for defenders.
The LSU duo was a main reason the Tigers won the national championship, with Jefferson coring four touchdowns in the national semi-final game against Oklahoma.
Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, West Virginia 2012
One of the more explosive duos of all time, mention Austin and Bailey to a West Virginia fan and watch the smile form on their face. The numbers these two guys put up all purpose yards wise seems more like a videogame then real life, even if it is the Big 12.
Austin recorded 114 receptions, 1,289 yards, 12 touchdowns; 72 carries, 643 yards, three touchdowns; 978 yards and two touchdowns in punt/kick returns and Bailey recorded 114 receptions, 1,622 yards, 25 touchdowns; 146 kick-return yards.
Austin recorded almost 3,000 all-purpose yards alone.
The stat that makes these guys stand out is their all-purpose yards. The duo averaged 360 yards per game all purpose combined, which is a simply staggering stat. That is more than Rutgers entire team that season.
DeVonta Smith and Jerry Jeudy, Alabama 2019
In general, the 2019 Alabama wide receiver room might be the best ever. DeVonta Smith, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs and Jaylen Waddle could make me look like a competent quarterback. And that isn’t an insult to Tua, it is just the truth. But this is a dynamic duo list and that duo is Smith and Jeudy.
Smith, the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner, was still finding his way in the crowded offense that also included Najee Harris, but he still recorded 68 catches, 1,256 yards and 14 touchdowns. This was a prequel to his incredible 2020 season.
For Jeudy, the 2018 Biletnikoff winner, he recorded 77 catches, 1,163 yards and 10 touchdowns. For these guys to have these numbers with guys like Ruggs, Harris and Waddle, it showed the level of play that offense was at. One of the greatest ever possibly.
Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, Ohio State 2021
Since last year was not a full season, this will be the first and only season we see what Wilson and Olave’s stats are together with a full 14 or 15 games under their belt. As long as CJ Stroud is able to get them the ball, which he will be, these two guys are as good as anyone tandem on this list and should have similar stats. Minus the all-purpose yards that Austin and Bailey accumulated.
My prediction for the two is Wilson to have 85 catches for 1,350 yards and 16 touchdowns and Olave to have 95 catches for 1,150 yards and 14 touchdowns.
It will be interesting to see how their stats waiver with the depth that is across the board for the Buckeyes and how many catches, yards and touchdowns guys like Fleming and Smith-Njigba actually take away.