Top Ten Greatest Missouri Tigers
Who are the best Missouri football players of the Athlon era?
By: Braden Gall | 5/2/11, 11:30 AM EDT
10. Martin Rucker, TE, 2004-071 of 11
Rucker is tied with center Adam Spieker (who just missed making this list) for the school record for consecutive starts with 50. The consensus All-American is No. 2 all-time in school history for career receptions with 203. He is fourth all-time with 2,175 career receiving yards. And at one time (for only one year actually) he owned the school record for receptions in a season with 84 in 2007.
9. James Wilder, RB, 1978-802 of 11
The “Sikeston Train” led the Tigers to three straight bowl games during his time in Columbia, winning two of those bowls over LSU and South Carolina. One of the most popular players in school history, Wilder is currently eighth all-time in rushing with 2,357 career yards, scoring 23 times in his college career. The Pro-Bowl running back was drafted in the second round of the 1981 draft.
8. Justin Smith, DE, 1998-003 of 11
It didn’t take long for Smith to prove his worth, becoming the first true freshman to start all 12 games since 1986, helping Mizzou to its first bowl win since 1981 when the Tigers beat West Virginia in the Insight.Com Bowl. Smith owns the single season sack record with 11 (2000) and is second all-time with 22.5 career sacks. The first-team All-American left after his junior season.
7. Jeremy Maclin, WR/KR, 2006-084 of 11
When is comes to all-purpose running, few have ever been better than Maclin. He claims the school record — and four of the top eight — single-game all-purpose yards mark with 360 total yards against Kansas State in 2007. He set and then broke his own single-season all-purpose benchmark with 2,833 in 2008 and 2,776 in 2007. Both records were more than 1,000 yards better than the previous record. His 5,609 career all-purpose yards are a school record by nearly 1,300 yards. Maclin also owns the single-season MU receptions and yards record with 102 catches and 1,260 yards (2008). The talented wideout played only two seasons for Mizzou and was an All-American both years. Maclin entered the NFL Draft after his redshirt sophomore season.
6. Chase Coffman, TE, 2005-085 of 11
A consensus All-American in 2008, Coffman claimed the John Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end. His 90 receptions that season would have set a school record had teammate Jeremy Maclin not caught 102 passes during the same season. He finished his MU career holding school records for receptions with 247 and touchdowns with 30. He also finished second all-time with 2,659 receiving yards.
5. Brock Olivo, RB, 1994-976 of 11
Olivo came to Mizzou with modest fanfare, but thanks to his legendary work ethic, he became one of the great inspirational players in school history. He helped restore pride to his home state program that had fallen on hard times when he led the Tigers to the 1997 Holiday Bowl — MU’s first bowl appearance since 1983. He left as the school’s all-time leading career rusher, with 3,026 yards, and his 188 points ranked him fourth on the career scoring list. The Big Eight conference Offensive Freshman of the Year in 1994, Olivo went on to ensure his spot in Tiger Football history when he won the Mosi Tatupu National Special Teams Player of the Year Award in 1997 — making him the first Tiger to ever win a national individual award.
4. Roger Wehrli, CB/PR, 1966-687 of 11
When it came to game-winning plays, MU’s Roger Wehrli had few peers. Although stationed in the defensive backfield, the Tigers’ highly regarded Wehrli played major offensive roles in many Tiger victories. A consensus All-American in 1968, and the nation’s leading punt returner, Wehrli broke school and Big Eight punt return records during his career. He went on to a standout career with the St. Louis Cardinals and was a perennial All-Pro selection. Wehrli was enshrined into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame in 2004, and later was also enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
3. Kellen Winslow, TE, 1976-788 of 11
An All-American on and off the field, Kellen Winslow may be the greatest tight end ever to play the game. At MU, he was a two-time all-league choice and a consensus All-American as a senior. But the 28 passes he caught for 479 yards and six Tds in 1978 were just the tip of the iceberg. He’s best remembered for an ‘81 NFL playoff game against the Miami Dolphins, when he caught 13 passes and blocked a FG with :04 remaining to send the game into overtime. Winslow was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995, was a 2003 inductee into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame, and was honored in 2004 as an NCAA Silver Anniversary Award Winner.
2. Brad Smith, QB, 2001-059 of 11
After redshirting his freshman year, Smith never missed a start in four years under center at Mizzou. The dynamic dual-threat became only the second player in NCAA history to top 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a season in his first season as the starter. He accomplished the feat again as a senior, becoming the first player to ever go 2,000-1,000 twice. He finished his career as the first player in NCAA history to throw for at least 8,000 yards and rush for at least 4,000 yards. He is still Mizzou’s all-time leading rusher with 4,289 yards on the ground and holds single game (5), single season (18) and career (45) marks for rushing touchdowns as well.
1. Chase Daniel, QB, 2005-200810 of 11
Hailing from famed Southlake-Carroll in Texas, Daniel has his name plastered all over the Mizzou record book. The 2007 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy finalist led the Tigers to back-to-back Big 12 North crowns — the school’s only two appearances in the Big 12 title game. Daniel holds 27 school records, including single game (94.1%), single season (72.9%) and career (68%) marks for completion percentage, single season (4,335) and career (12,515) yardage totals and single game (5), single season (39) and career (101) touchdown passes. He also set a school record with 20 straight completions and topped Brad Smith's total offense mark with 13,485 total yards.
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