Keeping Score

C-USA Top 5: Rice's Dillard tops solid group of receivers

This is the third installment of a 20-part series taking stock of the best players, teams and coaches in Conference USA's 20 years of existence.

Looking back through the Conference USA record books, there is no shortage of receivers who have put up huge numbers over the league's first 20 years.

With so much of the league relying on a pass-first offense, it would be easy to pick the league's best all-time receivers based solely on statistics. If that was the case, Houston receivers would dominate the list.

The Cougars are still represented in this C-USA Top 5, but there have been plenty of good pass-catchers at other programs the last two decades.

The top five receivers in C-USA history:

1. Jarett Dillard (Rice, 2005-08): With 60 career touchdown catches, Dillard is by far the most prolific receiver in FBS history when it comes to getting in the end zone. He had over 1,000 yards receiving in three straight seasons and closed out his career with 292 catches for 4,138 yards.

2. Dwayne Harris (East Carolina, 2007-10): One of the toughest to ever line up at the position, Harris is basically a power tailback lining up in the slot. Now a Dallas Cowboy, Harris caught 268 passes for 3,001 yards and 20 touchdowns in his career. He caught a whopping 101 passes as a senior.

3. Patrick Edwards (Houston, 2008-11): With 4,507 career receiving yards, Edwards ranks first all-time in C-USA and fourth in the FBS. As a senior, he caught 89 passes for 1,752 yards and 20 touchdowns. 

4. Roddy White (UAB, 2001-04): White made a steady progression throughout his four years with the Blazers, topping out with an incredible senior season. In 2004, he caught 71 passes for 1,452 yards and 14 touchdowns. For his career, he had 163 catches for 3,112 yards and 26 scores.

5. Deion Branch (Louisville, 2000-01): He only had two years at Louisville, but the future NFL standout took advantage of his short time with the Cardinals after starting out at Jones County Junior College. In two years at Louisville, he caught 143 passes for 2,204 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Also-rans: Houston's Tyron Carrier, Sherrod Gideon of Southern Miss, SMU's Emmanuel Sanders, Houston's Vincent Marshall.

Up next in the C-USA Top 5: Offensive lineman, Friday.