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Beyond The U: Reggie Wayne

Not Enough O’s in Smooth For This Wide Receiver

Reggie Wayne #87...
Hurricane legend #87, future NFL Hall of Famer.
Getty Images archive

Legend Of The U

Smooth. What a great description of Reggie Wayne. Whatever he did, he made it look easy. One of the all-time great wide receivers from The U, Reggie was a reliable target with a flair for clutch catches when they were needed the most.

In a fortunate turn for Miami, Wayne gave up an early favoritism for baseball to play football once he entered high school. He was recruited by Butch Davis out of John Ehret High School in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he was twice voted All-State, and a USA Today honorable mention All-American as a senior.

As a freshman in 1997 at University of Miami, Reggie Wayne made an immediate impact on the Canes passing game. Wayne broke Michael Irvin's freshman record of 46 receptions with 48 of his own, and led the Canes with 640 receiving yards. He scored 2 TD’s. He was voted BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, 2nd team All BIG EAST, and a Sporting News Freshman All American.

The following season he missed two games with a knee injury but still managed to lead Miami with 42 receptions, adding 629 receiving yards and 4 TD’s. In 1998, he caught 40 passes for 486 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Wayne’s breakout year was 2000, when he led the team with 755 yards, 17.6 yards per catch, 43 receptions, and 10 TD’s - tied for 2nd all time behind Irvin's record of 11 TD’s in 1986.

Graduating with a degree in liberal arts, Wayne left The U as the school's career leader in total receptions with 173, second in yards receiving with 2,510, and tied for 3rd in career touchdowns with 20. He holds the school record for consecutive games with a reception in 36 straight games.

An impressive college career to be sure, but there would be greater glory ahead for Reggie Wayne.

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans
Run Reggie Run!
Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Pro Baller

In Indianapolis, the Colts had a pretty decent quarterback you may have heard about by the name of Peyton Manning. During the 2001 NFL Draft, they wanted to get him more weapons to complement WR Marvin Harrison. With their 1st round pick, #30, the Colts selected Wayne, one of the best draft choices in club history.

Wayne went on to a Hall of Fame caliber career with the Colts, as part of one of the most prodigious offenses of all time. Manning, Wayne, Harrison, and TE Dallas Clark terrorized NFL secondaries for years.

Over a 14 year career with the Colts, Wayne put up numbers that established him as an all-time great NFL wide receiver.

  • 1070 Receptions (7th all time)
  • 14345 Receiving Yards (8th all time)
  • 82 touchdowns (23rd all time)
  • 6 Pro Bowls, 7 All Pro Teams
  • Super Bowl XLI Champion

Released by the Colts in 2015 as his play declined from age and injury, Wayne briefly signed with the Patriots before retiring on January 15, 2016, after not playing the entire 2015 season.

"When I look at it, what else did I have to prove?" Wayne said. "I played against the elite of the elite, the best of the best. I was able to crack the top 10 of this and the top 10 of that, and be one of the best in franchise history."

Not only did he leave as one of the all-time great wide receivers, and one of the most beloved players to ever wear a Colts uniform, but he was able to parlay that into earning an estimated $48 million over his career. Reggie Wayne wasn’t finished with football just yet.

Wild Card Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Indianapolis Colts
Thanking the Fans
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After The Game

Wayne was tapped to join the NFL Network as a football analyst on NFL Total Access in 2016, a role he continues to enjoy today. His candid and insightful analysis is part of several weekly editions of the program.

Wayne stays involved in the Indianapolis community, a place that was home to him for 14 years. Last October he worked with Gleaners Food Bank to helped donate more than 50,000 pounds of protein for those in need locally.

He’s also a host and participant in the Amp Harris & Reggie Wayne Saving Our Youth Celebrity Basketball Game. The event raises money for scholarships for youth, with preference given to low income students who would be the first in their family to graduate from college.

Currently, Reggie Wayne lives a private life with his wife and family in South Florida. He was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in March 2011. His induction into the the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, is no doubt coming soon.

Reggie Wayne - The embodiment of Smooth on the football field, a Miami Hurricane Hall of Famer turned All-Time Great NFL Receiver, now in the NFL Network broadcast studio - living life Beyond The U.