The Wolfpacker

September 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 36 of 95

SEPTEMBER 2018 ■ 37 NC State has been touting itself as "QB U," but there was a time when wide receivers were part of NC State's claim to fame. This year's collection has the potential to be the latest chapter of the proud history of Wolfpack pass catchers. Here are five memorable ones: 1. Haywood Jeffires, Danny Peebles and Nasrallah Worthen (1985-86) Two of these receivers, Jeffires and Worthen, still rank among the top 15 all time at NC State in receptions and receiving yards more than two decades after they played in an era where offenses were not near as wide open as today. Jeffires caught 111 passes (14th) for 1,733 yards (14th) and Worthen had 131 catches (tied for seventh) for 2,247 yards (fifth). Both also caught 14 touchdown passes, which is tied for ninth most in school history. Jeffires would go on to be a star in the NFL, playing 10 seasons (nine with the Houston Oilers) and catching 535 passes for 6,334 yards and 50 touchdowns. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and was named first- team All-Pro in 1991 after leading the NFL with 100 receptions for 1,181 yards and seven scores. Peebles was a younger player than Jeffires and Worthen, who was a two-time All-ACC choice, but he would finish his career with 65 catches for 1,086 yards and eight touchdowns. Peebles would then play three years in the NFL before a severe neck injury ended his career. The two-sport star at NC State also excelled in track and has been inducted into the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame. 2. Chris Coleman and Torry Holt (1997-98) Holt is a legendary name in school history and his No. 81 is retired. His senior year in 1998, when he caught 88 passes for 1,604 yards and 11 touchdowns en route to finishing eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting, remains one of the greatest individual seasons in school history. His 3,379 career receiving yards and 31 career touchdown re c e p t i o n s remain the most in school his- tory, and the latter is third most all time in the ACC. Holt went on to have a potential Hall of Fame career in the NFL, mostly with the St. Louis Rams. He caught 920 passes for 13,382 yards and 74 touchdowns in 11 years and was named to seven Pro Bowls. He ranks 21st all time on the NFL's receptions list and 16th in receiving yards. Quietly, Coleman was a good compliment to Holt. While Holt was tormenting defenses in 1998, Coleman had 52 catches for 876 yards and five scores himself. A year later, in his senior year, Coleman added 41 catches for 487 yards and a touchdown. He is 11th in receptions (122) and ninth in receiving yards (1,909) at NC State. 3. Koren Robinson and Jerricho Cotchery (2000) Robinson was the star of the show for this team, which was quarterback Philip Rivers and former head coach Chuck Amato's first season in Raleigh. Robinson had a breakout campaign with 62 receptions for 1,061 yards and 13 touchdowns, the fifth most receiving yards and second most scoring catches in a single season in school history. He went on to be a first-round pick, drafted ninth overall by the Seattle Seahawks, and played eight years in the NFL, highlighted by catching 78 passes for 1,240 yards and five scores in his second season. Cotchery was an unheralded true freshman that caught just six passes for 75 yards that year, but it was just a glimpse of what was to come. He finished his ca - reer with 200 receptions for 3,119 yards and 21 touch- downs, the second most in all categories at NC State. He then played 12 years in the NFL, making 524 career catches for 6,623 yards and 34 touchdowns, including 10 in his 10th year while playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also had a 1,000-yard receiving year with the New York Jets in 2007. 4. Coleman, Holt, Jimmy Grissett and Alvis Whitted (1996) Before Coleman and Holt became stars, they were complimentary receivers on a strong corps in 1996 that was led by Jimmy Grissett and also included the speedy Alvis Whitted, who still holds the school record in the 100-meter dash at 10.02 seconds. Grissett caught 50 passes for 751 yards and five touchdowns to lead the way, while Whitted had 14 receptions for 268 yards. Holt had 24 catches for 415 yards and three scores, while Coleman hauled in 15 catches for 284 yards and a touchdown. Whitted's speed earned him a ticket into the NFL, where he played nine seasons and caught 74 passes for 1,030 yards and six touchdowns and had a kickoff return for a score. 5. Eddie Goines, Ray Griffis and Robert Hinton (1993) The three were a collection of big-play receivers at NC State. In 1993, Goines caught 48 passes for 929 yards (18.1 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns, Hin - ton added 29 receptions for 442 yards (15.2 yards) and three scores, and Griffis hauled in 24 catches for 421 yards (17.5) and four touchdowns. Goines was the headliner of this unit. The three-time All-ACC selection (two first-team honors) finished his career with 147 receptions for 2,352 yards and 17 touch - downs. He still ranks in the top five of all three categories for NC State — fourth in receptions and receiving yards, and tied for fifth in receiving scores. He spent two seasons with the Seahawks in the NFL, but never made a catch. — Matt Carter Torry Holt is NC State's all-time leader in both career receiving yards (3,379) and ca- reer touchdown receptions (31). PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS A TRADITION OF RECEIVERS

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