Although the passing game has evolved in college football over the last several decades, West Virginia has never needed to worry about who is catching their passes.
Today, we’re sifting through some of WVU’s greatest wide receivers to determine who was the best, and like Tuesday, we need your help. Cast a vote below to help us determine which Mountaineer pass-catcher deserves a spot on the All-Mountaineer team.
If you need a refresher, take a glance under the poll for a cheat sheet on all of the nominees. The top two vote-getters will be selected.
Danny Buggs (1972-1974): This Atlanta native was the top man for the Mountaineers when they needed a big play. To this day, Buggs holds the record for longest reception and touchdown catch (96 yards) and punt return touchdown (95 yards). By the time he had finished his career, his 1,796 receiving yards topped WVU’s record book — a mark that would stay at the top for nearly a decade. He was inducted to the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.
Reggie Rembert (1988-1989): West Virginia got just two seasons out of Reggie Rembert, but he quickly became a favorite target for quarterback Major Harris. In his senior season, Rembert logged 850 receiving yards on 47 catches, while leading the team with 11 touchdowns. His massive 6-6, 200-pound frame made him a difficult cover, especially for Pitt in 1989 when he went off for a career-high 145 yards and 2 touchdowns.
David Saunders (1995-1998): Saunders tore through Big East secondaries for three seasons in the Old Gold and Blue, amassing 2,608 receiving yards in his career. By his senior year, he was the top target for quarterback Marc Bulger, finding the end zone a career-high eight times. He even stole Bulger’s thunder when he completed a pass in his senior year against Missouri.
Chris Henry (2003-2004): A two-year menace in the Big East, Henry racked up a total of 1,878 yards and 22 touchdowns across both his Mountaineer seasons. After racking up 1,006 yards in his debut WVU season as a sophomore, that tally took a slight dip into his junior year — but he made up for it by bumping his touchdown total to 12. His best performance was undoubtedly in 2003 when the Mountaineers traveled to Syracuse: Henry silenced a raucous Carrier Dome with 6 catches for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Jock Sanders (2007-2010): Sanders warmed Milan Puskar Stadium up for his dynamic duo of successors, catching a total of 206 passes for 1,980 yards and 14 touchdowns in his Mountaineer career. Not only was he lethal as a receiver, but as a returner as well — in 52 games with West Virginia, the St. Petersburg, Florida native returned 31 punts and 22 kickoffs for respective totals of 281 and 515 yards.
Tavon Austin (2008-2012): No. 1’s reputation precedes him on this list. Austin holds WVU’s program record for career receiving yards (3,413) and receptions (288) as he helped put the Mountaineers on the Big 12 map as he and Stedman Bailey combined for 2,911 receiving yards in their inaugural season in the conference. He earned that season’s Paul Hornung Award, which is given to the nation’s best wide receiver, as well as a spot on the All-Big 12 First Team — not to mention all of the exploits he compiled during his three seasons in the Big East.
Stedman Bailey (2009-2012): Whenever you mention Austin, Bailey’s name better soon follow. Bailey is WVU’s all-time leader in 100-yard receiving games (14, although Austin is close behind with 13), receiving touchdowns (41) and is second all-time in receptions behind Austin (210). He was also a key piece to the Mountaineers’ 2012 scoring bonanza against Baylor, when he put up a career-high 303 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns as the Mountaineers won 70-63.
Kevin White (2013-2014): The first of the three White brothers to play in Morgantown, Kevin exploded in his senior season leading the Big 12 in receptions with 109, while adding 1,447 yards — the second-highest tally all-time in WVU history. That year, he started the season with seven straight 100-plus yard performances including a 216-yard, one touchdown game against Maryland in week three. He also brought the house down in the Mountaineers’ October upset of No. 4 Baylor, when he reeled in a pair of touchdowns (both hands optional) which sent Milan Puskar Stadium into a frenzy as his squad won 41-27.
Gary Jennings (2015-2018): Jennings went off in his junior and senior seasons at West Virginia, passing the 1,000-yard mark in 2017 before narrowly missing it in 2018. Although he struggled to find the end zone in his junior season with just a single touchdown, he made up for it with 12 scores in his senior campaign. He finished on a strong note, setting a career-high with 225 receiving yards on 13 catches against Oklahoma, while adding a pair of big touchdowns to keep the contest tight.
David Sills V (2015, 2017-18): Sills is quite possibly the only All-Mountaineer non-quarterback nominee to be recruited as a passer, only to go down in WVU history as a pass-catcher. The former USC prospect was a touchdown machine in Morgantown, starting his career as a redshirt in 2015 with 2 scores on 7 catches. He returned to junior college for a stint to take another crack at a signal-caller before returning to WVU and adding 1,966 yards and 33 touchdowns in two seasons. His 35 total TDs puts him behind only Stedman Bailey on WVU’s all-time list, with his junior and senior seasons ranking second and third all-time (again, behind Bailey). He scored two key touchdowns in the Mountaineers’ 2018 win at Texas, but it would be his first that would be memorable for not just WVU fans, but Longhorns fans as well.
Make sure to cast your vote for WVU’s best wide receiver before July 2. Next, we will need your help to decide which Mountaineer defensive linemen were the best in program history, so be sure to stop by tomorrow on WVIllustrated.com to cast your vote.
If your favorite running back or wide receiver doesn’t get the top vote, don’t worry! On July 2, we will take some of the highest vote-getters at the RB and WR positions to determine the best offensive flex position.
If you missed yesterday’s poll, it’s still live. Here’s a full list of our daily polls, including the ones yet to come:
- Running back (click to vote)
- June 25: Defensive line (top 3 vote-getters)
- June 26: Linebacker (top 3 vote-getters)
- June 27: Tight end/Fullback
- June 28: Offensive Line
- June 29: Quarterback
- June 30: Defensive back (top 2 vote-getters)
- July 1: Safety (top 2 vote-getters)
- July 2: Offensive Flex (based on high vote-getters)
- July 3: Defensive Flex (based on high vote-getters)
- July 4: Kicker/punter
- July 5: Head Coach
- July 6: Full reveal of the All-Mountaineer Team