ATQ's "20 in 20": #18 - Keenan Howry

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Keenan Howry is one of the most dependable receivers in the last 20 years.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Kenny Wheaton's cutback into history and the 1994 Rose Bowl team, Addicted to Quack is counting down the top 20 football Ducks of the last 20 years. Our list so far...

20.  Walter Thurmond III

19.  Casey Matthews

***

It is very easy in sports to get caught up in the potential of a player.  That's basically what recruiting is about.  "Oh my god, look how fast he runs.  Look how tall he is.  We could probably throw a jump ball in the end zone every time and he'd come down with it."  Internal facets such as being able to stay mentally aware and in control can be overlooked.

While it is incredibly sexy to think of what could be, if the Ducks were in a situation where they needed a long first down conversion there wouldn't be much question on who would be on the other end of the pass.  Keenan Howry didn't possess burning speed or other-worldly athleticism, but was always able to be counted on when his teammates needed it most.  He came up big multiple times for the Ducks making game-changing plays.

Consider the 2001 Civil War when Howry returned a punt for a touchdown and gave the edge to Oregon to make it to the Fiesta Bowl.

Or take into account the throw to Joey Harrington in the Holiday Bowl against Texas that we now see on every pre-game highlight tape.  Howry was on the receiving end of a lot of Harrington's passes.

Keenan Howry finished his career at Oregon with 173 receptions for 2,698 yards, and 24 touchdowns.  As a punt returner he was possibly even more dangerous and consistent.  He had 104 returns for 1221 yards, and 4 touchdowns.  What these statistics don't encapsulate is the comfort that came with knowing that when Howry was on the field he would catch the balls thrown to him, make the most of punt return opportunities, and never let his teammates or the fans down.  Advanced statistics would probably label him as a true specimen in efficiency and dependability, here at ATQ we label him as one of the best.

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