Kansas State football: 15 best wide receivers in Wildcats history

Tyler Lockett, Kansas State Wildcats. (Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/MCT via Getty Images)
Tyler Lockett, Kansas State Wildcats. (Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/MCT via Getty Images) /
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Chris Harper, Kansas State Wildcats
Chris Harper, Kansas State Wildcats. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

Greatest wide receivers in Kansas State football history: 11. Chris Harper

Chris Harper grew up in Kansas playing quarterback for his high school team in Wichita. After a solid career at Northwest High School, Harper accepted a football scholarship to play quarterback after the University of Oregon. Harper only spent one year as a Ducks signal-caller in Eugene before opting to transfer back to his native Kansas to play for Bill Snyder at K-State.

Harper had to sit out the 2009 NCAA season due to transfer rules but was able to put together three excellent years in the purple and white for the Wildcats. Harper would never miss a game during his three-year run with K-State from 2010 to 2012. As a redshirt sophomore in 2010, Harper had 25 catches for 330 yards and four receiving touchdowns. K-State went 7-6 that year, losing in the Pinstripe Bowl to the Syracuse Orange.

Harper would see an increase in overall productivity as a receiver in the Kansas State offense in 2011. He had 40 catches for 547 yards and five touchdowns. By that time, quarterback Collin Klein was starting to make a name for himself as a dual-threat playmaker in the Big 12. Kansas State went 10-3 that fall, finishing in second place in the Big 12, but lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Cotton Bowl Classic.

In what was Harper’s final season with the program, 2012 is undoubtedly the best year of Snyder’s second act at K-State. The Wildcats won the Big 12, Klein was a Heisman Trophy finalist and Harper parlayed his on-field exploits into an NFL career. Harper had 58 catches for 857 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. Kansas State would lose to the Oregon Ducks in the Fiesta Bowl that holiday season.

Harper would be named Second-Team All-Big 12 for his final season in Manhattan. He was taken No. 123 overall in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Unfortunately, Harper didn’t make the eventual Super Bowl champions’ roster out of training camp. He’d spend a month with the San Francisco 49ers before finally getting his shot as a special teams player with the Green Bay Packers later that season. Harper would spend the next few NFL seasons with Green Bay and the New York Giants before being out of the league after the 2015 campaign.

In three seasons with Kansas State, Harper finished with 123 catches for 1,734 yards and 12 touchdown receptions. Harper ranks ninth in Kansas State history in receiving touchdowns, 11th in both receptions and receiving yards and 12th in yards per catch with 14.1 (min. 90 receptions). Not bad for a guy who originally played quarterback in the old Pac-10.