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Greatest Kansas Football Players Bracket: Emmett Edwards vs Bruce Adams

(5) Emmett Edwards vs (12) Bruce Adams

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Both of these guys played from 1972 until 1974. It is a classic five against twelve matchup.

(5) Emmett Edwards

Emmett Edwards played three seasons at Kansas and all three were pretty productive. His debut season featured 26 catches for 464 yards and two touchdowns. That was in 1972, and it was but a glimpse of what was to come from the Tulsa native.

His second year was his most productive in Crimson and Blue. In 1973 he caught 53 passes for 840 yards and three scores. He was first in the Big Eight in receptions and yardage and it earned Edwards a first team all-conference selection that season.

He repeated his all-conference performance in his final season on 1974. Although his numbers were down (30 catches, 542 yards, three TDs), he was still first in the league in yardage and yards per reception (18.8). After those back-to-back all-conference selections, Edwards was drafted into the NFL in the second round (40th overall) by the Houston Oilers. He only played two seasons in the NFL (the second with the Buffalo Bills) and he only racked up four receptions in that time.

(12) Bruce Adams

Unlike Edwards, Bruce Adams saw his statistics decline in each of his three seasons at KU. Perhaps it was due to the emergence of Edwards and perhaps there was another reason, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that he had a great tenure in Lawrence.

In his first season, he snagged 39 passes for 704 yards and eight touchdowns. Pretty good. He followed that up with 34 catches for 458 yards and seven scores in 1973. With the production from its wideouts, it is no wonder KU qualified for the Liberty Bowl that season.

In 1974, Adams saw his lines drop to 17 catches for 349 yards and two touchdowns. Still, his 17 receiving touchdowns ranks as the fifth best ever in the old Big Eight.


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