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Greatest Kansas Football Players of All-Time Bracket: Richard Estell vs Willie Vaughn

(6) Estell vs (3) Vaughn

Kansas V Missouri

Willie Vaughn cruised into the second round after routing Quintin Smith by a 9-1 count, while Richard Estell advance on what’s basically a technicality, that is, the rule I made up that says ties go to the higher seed. If you’re gonna come at the favorite, you gotta beat them outright. So Estell claims a second round berth after tying Derek Fine by a 4-4 count.

(3) Willie Vaughn

Vaughn played at KU from 1985-88 and is honestly one of the best wide receivers in the history of the Big 8 Conference. In the 39 years that the Big 8 existed, he shows up in the top eight of all 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 entire NCAA. He still ranks third behind Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier in both career yardage and career touchdown receptions at KU.

(6) Richard Estell

Estell came literally right before Vaughn at KU, playing for the ‘Hawks from 1983-85. Over the course of Estell’s career in Lawrence, he caught 117 passes for 1997 yards and eight touchdowns. His career yardage mark is still good for fifth all-time at KU.

Estell was brilliant in his final year at KU. In 1985, he grabbed 70 passes for 1109 yards and four scores. His receptions and yardage were the most in the Big Eight that season and his four touchdown receptions was good for second in the run-heavy Big 8. Those statistics made him a 1985 first team All-Conference selection.


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