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ATQ's "20 in 20" No. 6: Kenny Wheaton

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ATQ's 20 best players of the last 20 years continues with Kenny Wheaton, he of the most important play in Oregon Football history.

We all know it by heart:

Huard gonna go back to throw the ball

Sets up, looks, throw toward the corner of the end zone

It is INTERCEPTED! INTERCEPTED the Ducks have the ball!

To the 35, the 40


The 20, the 10

Touchdown! Kenny Wheaton, on the interception!

The most improbable finish to a football game!

We all know the significance of that play in the history of the program. It catapulted Oregon to its first Rose Bowl run since 1958. It shifted the balance of power in the Northwest. It started Oregon, a perennial doormat, on the road to being a legitimate football program.

But Kenny Wheaton is a bit embarrassed that the single play overshadows the rest of his career. After all, he was a three time All-American, a three time All-Conference player, and was the first Duck to leave school early for the NFL Draft, where he was drafted in the third round by the Dallas Cowboys. He ranks right up with Alex Molden, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Chris Oldham, and Walter Thurmond as the best cornerbacks in Oregon history.

It's also interesting to note how close The Pick was to not even happening. Kenny Wheaton gambled. He jumped an out route and guessed right. What if the play had been an out-and-up? What if it had been a corner fade? What-ifs don't matter.

Wheaton should be remembered as one of the all-time great corners at a school that has had a lot of great corners. But Wheaton did something that none of the others did--he became legendary.

During Hate Week 2014, it will reach 4,000 days since Washington last beat Oregon. On the scoreboard, they'll play Terry Obee, and Patrick Johnson, and Dennis Dixon, and Marcus Mariota.

But the crowd will truly come alive, as it does every game, when Damon Huard drops back to throw the ball.

Because 20 years later, Kenny Wheaton still hasn't stopped scoring.

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
#18 - Keenan Howry
#17 - Chad Cota
#16 - De'Anthony Thomas
#15 - Patrick Chung
#14 - Darron Thomas
#13 - Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
#12 - Jeff Maehl
#11 - Nick Reed
#10 - Kenjon Barner
#9 - Alex Molden
#8 - Dennis Dixon
#7 - Max Unger