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Greatest Kansas Football Players Bracket: Willie Vaughn vs Quintin Smith

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(3) Willie Vaughn vs (14) Quintin Smith

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

These guys played most of their careers concurrently, so this should be one of the more interesting matchups in the wide receivers bracket.

(3) Willie Vaughn

Willie Vaughn is one of the best wide receivers in the history of the Big Eight. In the 39 years that the Big Eight existed, Willie Vaughn shows up in the top eight in all the categories that matter to a wideout- eighth in receptions with 133, sixth in receiving yards with 2266, sixth in yards per catch at 17.0, and fifth in TD catches with 17. He was a first team all-conference selection in 1986 and 1988 and in the season in between, Vaughn led the nation in yards per reception with a 26.9 YPC average.

Statistically, Vaughn was solid in all four years at KU, but his senior season of 1988 was his best. That year he grabbed 39 passes for 812 yards and six touchdowns. Again, his 20.8 YPC average was the best in the league and eighth best in the NCAA. Over his KU career, he ranks third behind Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier in both yardage and touchdown receptions. Impressive.

(14) Quintin Smith

It seems that once Vaughn left Kansas, Quintin Smith really had space and time to shine. Although he has nice seasons in 1987 and 1988 (47 catches, 649 yards, one TD), his breakout came in 1989 when Vaughn was gone.

In 1989, he caught 50 passes for 898 yards and eight touchdowns. That’s an average of 18.8 yards per catch. His yardage, YPC, and TDs were tops in the Big Eight that season and he earned a place on the first team all-conference squad.

That fine season earned his a chance to make an NFL team. He got that chance with the Chicago Bears in 1990 and played in two games. He caught two passes in his brief NFL career.

Who was the greater Jayhawk? Register your vote in the comments below. Other matchups can be found here.