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No doubt, Broyles is one of the greats

by Jenni Carlson Published: October 16, 2011

Consider that the old NCAA record was 316 catches, and that tells you how far ahead of the pack Broyles might be.

After all these decades of college football, the most passes that any receiver caught was 316.

That was B.B. -- Before Broyles.

What if Broyles finishes his career with 375 catches?

Or more?

What if he averages more like 9 or 10 catches over these remaining games? That's not out of the question. Put up those kind of numbers, and he could approach 400 career catches.

It's an inconceivable number that Broyles now has in his sights.

"You never know how many touchdowns and how many receiving yards he could get," Sooner quarterback Landry Jones said. "I think it's just special to have someone like that on your team, one of the better guys on our team."

But nothing was more special and more iconic that than record-breaker. Jones hit Broyles in stride, and already with a step or two on the defender, Broyles hit the accelerator and scored easily.

"He really put an exclamation point on it tonight," Sooner receivers coach Jay Norvell said. "The play for the record, he just ran right past that guy, and that's something that Ryan would like to do more of. He's inside so much that we wanted to get him outside and get him a big play on that last one, and he really came through on it."

Broyles held the ball aloft, looking skyward.

He celebrated with teammates in the end zone, then headed to the sideline. Every step along the way came with another pat on the back or hug or handshake.

That's when the enormity of the moment started to dawn on Broyles. He thought of his teammates and coaches. He thought of his family and friends. He thought of all the people who mean so much to him, and the emotions nearly overwhelmed him.

All the while, Broyles held onto the ball.

"I'm keeping that one, for sure," he said. "I think they're going to send it to the hall of fame, the college hall of fame for a couple months, then it'll be back home with my mom."

He wasn't about to let go.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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