Who Has the Most Receiving Yards in College Football History?

Who Has the Most Receiving Yards in College Football History? Photo by Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The College Football Players with the Most Career Receiving Yards

College Football Stats and Records

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These are the top ten college football players with the most career receiving yards. 

The modern game of football is very pass-friendly, so it makes sense to see a heavy dose of recent players on the all-time record list. Unless there’s an upcoming rushing renaissance in the college football world, you can count on plenty of new names flirting with the top spots here for years to come. Check back all season long for free college football picks and college football predictions at Sports Chat Place. 

1. Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington, 6,464 (2013-16) - Kupp’s accomplishments as a college receiver are pretty darn legendary. In addition to leading the career receiving yards list, he also set the FCS record for most career receptions with a mind-boggling 428. Kupp racked up 73 touchdowns and carried a 125.7 yards-per-game average with Eastern Washington. After graduating, Kupp was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams and made an immediate impact on the team. 

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2. Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 5,278 (2013-16) - Davis stormed onto the scene as a freshman at Western Michigan, logging 67 catches for 941 yards and six scores. His performance culminated in his senior season, where he managed 97 grabs for an even 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns. In 2017, Davis was selected at No. 5 overall by the Tennessee Titans. 

3. Trevor Insley, Nevada, 5,005 (1996-99) - Insley is one of three 20th-century players we have on the career receiving yards list. He made First-team All-Big West in 1998 and 1999, and was a Second-team All American in his senior season after posting a whopping 2,060 receiving yards. Insley’s NFL career never really took off, however; he had just 14 catches for 165 yards and a TD while with the Colts. 

4. Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma, 4,586 (2008-11) - Broyles’ name pops up often if you’re a college football stats nerd. His 349 career receptions set an NCAA record that stood for three seasons, and he’s still near the top of that list. Broyles was a consensus All-American in both 2010 and 2011 before an NFL stint with the Lions from 2012-14. 

5. Justin Hardy, East Carolina, 4,541 (2001-14) - Hardy’s college football story is an inspiring one. He walked on to East Carolina in 2010 and earned a scholarship the next year. Hardy set records his freshman season with 658 yards on 64 receptions, and he eventually earned the Burlsworth Trophy in 2014. After graduating, Hardy was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round. 

6. Marcus Harris, Wyoming, 4,518 (1993-96) - Harris only had one catch for 14 yards in his freshman season, but he made up for it the next three years. His best season was in 1996 with 109 receptions for 1,650 yards and 13 touchdowns. Harris was a two-time First-team All-American and a Fred Biletnikoff Award winner in 1996. 

7. Patrick Edwards, Houston, 4,507 (2008-11) - Edwards earned himself a walk-on position with Houston and sat out the 2007 season as a redshirt. That seasoning helped, because Edwards came into 2008 as a starting wide receiver and would post 634 yards with four scores that year. In 2011 Edwards was C-USA Offensive Player of the Year and spent some time with the Detroit Lions. 

8. James Washington, Oklahoma State, 4,472 (2014-17) - We’ve got a pair of OK State guys in the next two spots, starting with Washington. He finished his collegiate career off with 74 catches for 1,549 yards and 13 scores in 2017, winning unanimous All-American and Biletnikoff Award honors. Washington was selected in the second round of the draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers and went on to a pro career. 

9. Rashaun Woods, Oklahoma State, 4,414 (2000-03) - The other member of our dynamic Cowboys duo is Woods. He made First-team All-Big 12 and First-team All-American in both 2002 and 2003 as part of an impressive college resume. Woods had 160 yards and a TD in his rookie NFL season, which was cut short due to injury. 

10. Ryan Yarborough, Wyoming, 4,374 (1990-93) - We’ll finish off the receiving yards list with Yarborough, who at one point held the record for career games with a touchdown reception (27). Though Yarbrough really racked up the stats in college, he finished off his NFL career with a relatively tame 44 receptions for 494 yards and three touchdowns. He also played for the XFL’s Chicago Enforcers in 2001. 

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