The University of Utah football team has always had great depth when it comes to the wide receiver position. There have been some great route runners who seemingly caught every ball that was thrown their way. There have also been wide outs with great speed and athleticism that made more than their fair share of defensive backs look foolish. This is the list of the best of the best wide receivers on the hill over the last 35 years no matter how they got it done. There were a number of great players that missed the cut but who definitely deserve a mention. Jim Teahan, Jerome Brooks, Cliff Russell and Travis LaTendresse all had more than 1,700 yards as Ute receivers while catching more than 100 passes.
There is another great player that needs to be mentioned even though he was not a wide receiver. Dennis Smith was one of the best targets the Utes have ever had. Smith was the favorite target of Scott Mitchell from the tight end position. According to Sports-reference.com, Smith caught 156 passes for 2128 yards and 24 touchdowns during his time at the U. Included in those stats is a year that still stands out almost 25 years later. In 1989, Smith finished sixth in the nation in receptions with 73 while finishing seventh in receiving yards with 1091. Smith also placed second in the country in receiving touchdowns as he hit pay dirt 18 times.
Only what a player did on the field as a Ute was taken into consideration. Their junior college and NFL statistics were not a factor when ranking each player. Each player’s stats also include bowl games.
15. Henry Lusk- Lusk spent 4 seasons at Utah and played all over the field. During his time on the hill, Lusk caught 130 passes for 1947 yards and 13 touchdowns.
His best season came 1993, when Lusk caught 48 passes for 832 yards and six scores. Those numbers placed him in the top ten of the WAC in four categories.
14. Deron Claiborne- Claiborne spent two seasons catching passes at Utah and placed second in yards receiving each year. For his career, Claiborne caught 108 passes for 1582 yards and six touchdowns.
His best season came in 1993 when Claiborne had 63 receptions for 743 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers placed him in the top 10 of the WAC in each category.
13. Rocky Henry- Henry spent two season catching passes at Utah and was one of Mike Fouts’ favorite targets. For his career, Henry caught 103 passes for 1438 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Henry’s best season came in 1995 when he caught 55 balls for 866 yards and six scores which placed him in the Top six in the WAC in all three categories.
12. Danny Huey- spent two years on the hill and was the Utes leader in reception, reception yards and touchdown catches in his last year. For his career, Huey caught 93 passes for 1438 yards and ten touchdowns.
Huey’s best season came in 1984 when he had 52 receptions for 869 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers placed him sixth in the WAC in touchdowns, fourth in receptions, and third in receiving yards.
11. Daniel Jones- Jones played in some down seasons for Utah quarterbacks but still put up impressive numbers. During his career at Utah, Jones caught 98 passes for 1435 yards and nine touchdowns.
Jones’ best season came in 1998 when he led the WAC in receptions with 57 and also led the conference in receiving yards with 809.
10. Frank Henry- Henry was a Ute in the late 70’s when receivers weren’t used nearly as much but was still very effective. For his career, Henry caught 85 passes for 1393 yards and six touchdowns.
His best year came in 1978, when Henry finished in the top two in the WAC in every major receiving category including leading the league in touchdowns.
9. Curtis Marsh- Marsh had only one good season as a Utah wide out but that year was fantastic. In 1994, Marsh finished second in the WAC with 64 receptions for 884 yards while finishing second in the nation in touchdown receptions with 11.
8. Kevin Dyson- Dyson spent four seasons with the Utes and is the all-time leader in receptions. For his career, Dyson recorded 200 receptions for 2829 and 19 touchdowns.
Dyson’s best season came in 1996, when he caught 59 passes for 907 yards and eight scores. Those numbers placed Dyson in the top six in the WAC in all three categories.
7. Loren Richey- Richey spent two years catching passes at the University of Utah and led the Utes in receptions and yards each season. For his career, Richey had 140 receptions for 1746 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Richey’s best season came in 1985 when he caught 73 passes for 971 yards and seven touchdowns. Those numbers placed Richey eighth in the nation in receiving yards and fifth in receptions according to Sports-reference.com.
6. Steve Smith- Smith only played at Utah for two seasons but showed glimpses of the enormous potential he would go on to fulfill in the NFL. For his career, Smith caught 78 passes for 1603 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Smith’s best season as a Ute came in 1999 when he caught 43 passes for 860 yards and eight touchdowns. Those numbers placed Smith second in the WAC in receiving yards and yards per catch and first in receiving touchdowns.
5. David Reed- Reed spent two seasons on the hill and had one of the best seasons a Ute receiver has ever had. In 2009, Reed caught 81 passes for 1188 yards which both led the MWC to go along with five touchdowns.
For his Utah career, Reed recorded 106 receptions for 1615 yards and 11 touchdowns.
4. Steve Savoy- Savoy only spent two seasons as a player at Utah before declaring early for the NFL where he subsequently went undrafted and never played a game. For his career, Savoy caught 107 passes for 1624 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Savoy’s best season came in 2004 when he had 67 receptions for 961 yards and 11 touchdowns, placing him in the top four in the MWC in each category. Savoy also recorded 307 yards and six scores on 22 rushes in reverses and fly sweeps. His 17 total touchdowns led the conference.
3. Paris Warren- Warren played two years at Utah after transferring from Oregon. During his career as a Ute, Warren recorded 156 receptions for 1883 yards and 16 touchdowns.
His best season came in 2004, when Warren caught 80 passes for 1076 yards and 12 touchdowns to lead the MWC in all three categories.
2. Carl Harry- Harry spent three seasons catching passes at Utah and left as one of the most decorated receivers in Ute history. For his career, Harry caught 149 passes for 2283 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Harry’s best season came in 1988, when he caught 65 passes for 1145 yards and 14 touchdowns. According to sports-reference.com, those numbers were good enough to lead the WAC in all three categories as well as placing Harry second nationally in receiving touchdowns and sixth in receiving yards.
1. Bryan Rowley- Rowley was an effective receiver his entire career as a Ute which included three very impressive seasons. According to sports-reference.com, Rowley led the nation in yards per catch in 1990 by averaging an astounding 27.2 per grab. The next season, Rowley finished ninth in the nation with 1011 receiving yards and sixth in the nation with 11 receiving touchdowns.
For his career, Rowley recorded 179 receptions for 3161 yards and 25 receiving touchdowns.