I wish I'd seen Wes Chandler as a Gator

Discussion in 'Swamp Gas' started by UFreak, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. UFreak
    Online

    UFreak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    6,314
    Likes Received:
    198
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings Received:
    +884
    I was too young to be football aware when he was a Gator. I remember him vaguely in the NFL.

    It's like the Emmitt Smith thing. You try to tell people how amazing he was but it's hard to convey unless you watched him week in and week out (only on tape delay some years because of probation).

    Each year, it seems to become more and more difficult to convey how good (freakishly good) Emmitt truly was. I suspect it is that much more frustrating for those who saw Wes Chandler, since he is a bit further in the past, etc., et al.

    In about 15 years on this board, or some iteration of this board, some young Gator fan will say that some current Gator is the best that has ever been and some Gator sage will say, "You never saw Percy Harvin."
    • Agree Agree x 3
  2. garettk
    Offline

    garettk Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings Received:
    +100
    I would have liked to have been at the the USC(west) game that Marshall dominated.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. mfpardnor2
    Offline

    mfpardnor2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    8,190
    Likes Received:
    2,074
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Jensen Beach, FL
    Ratings Received:
    +2,196
    Wes Chandler was amazing just think Percy Harvin merged with Lance Alworth.

    I would have loved seeing Wes Chandler in a Steve Spurrier offense.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  4. UFreak
    Online

    UFreak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    6,314
    Likes Received:
    198
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings Received:
    +884
    That was my second Gator game ever. It was amazing.
  5. pringleg
    Offline

    pringleg VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings Received:
    +68
    Wes was really talented. In high school he was a wishbone running back and wideout. Unbelievable skills. Great catch in a game at the swamp against Auburn where he faked out 3 guys before going in for a long score. After running through the end zone the Auburn eagle flew off his perch and hit on We's shoulder pads. Auburn got a 15 yard penalty enforced on the kickoff because of the mascot.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. DeBigLeezard
    Offline

    DeBigLeezard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    97
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +298
    I was there in the stands when Wes made that one handed, over the shoulder grab affectionally referred to as: "The Catch #2."
    The original "The Catch" was that one handed, falling backwards into the end of the endzone catch by James Jones against Miami in the final minutes of the game to seal the win. (I also, was fortunate enough to see that one too.)
    Wes Chandler's picture of, "The Other Catch" hung in the McDonald's on 13th Street, just north of University Avenue for years. I would LOVE to find that picture today!
    Anyone who was there was just dumbfounded by the catch. His arm was fully extended and he just reached out his huge hand and snatched it! Amazing!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. garettk
    Offline

    garettk Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings Received:
    +100
    Gee, thanks. Want to add anything else, like: "I'm also better looking and make more money than you?" Didn't you're parents teach you anything about bragging?!?
    • Funny Funny x 4
  8. 08gatorbait
    Offline

    08gatorbait Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,631
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Tampa
    Ratings Received:
    +965
    Agreed. I wish I could of seen the Ole Ball Coach too. But I'd also be very old...so it's kind of a wish I could travel back in time more than age 30 years :p.

    Sad thing is I can only partially remember a lot of the Spurrier years especially the early ones. Would have liked to have seen Marshall destroying people as well as Jack being the freak part 1(Kearse is part 2).
  9. GatorDoc74
    Offline

    GatorDoc74 Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +245
    It's unfortunate that so little film exists on Chandler and Carlos Alverez, when they were playing for Florida. They were so skilled and so gifted on the football field. But you're right about Percy. It's likely to be a very long time before anyone wearing the Orange and Blue will be considered his equal, or even close.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. UFreak
    Online

    UFreak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    6,314
    Likes Received:
    198
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings Received:
    +884
    The even bigger question is, will they be right for making such a statement. I remember it wasn't that long ago when some Gator fans who were new said that Fred Taylor was the best Florida back ever. Clearly, they just missed seeing Emmitt playing as a Gator. I love Fred Taylor, but it is no contest.
  11. DMann
    Offline

    DMann Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,729
    Likes Received:
    87
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    Ratings Received:
    +307
    If Wes Chandler had come along in the Spurrier era, there would be no receiving records within anyone's reach. He was silky smooth and didn't drop anything he could touch. He didn't have Percy's strength but Percy didn't have Wes' moves. Unfortunately, UF had no passing game while Wes was in school and he had to run out of the backfield more than lining up wide - which was where he was at his best. While at New Smyrna Beach HS he was the best HS defensive back I've ever seen as well as a great offensive player.
  12. StrangeGator
    Offline

    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    27,263
    Likes Received:
    306
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Chicago
    Ratings Received:
    +782
    Agree completely. He had better hands and better open field running ability than anyone in the Spurrier era. The only player worth comparing him to in recent years is Percy, but Percy didn't even have what I consider exceptional hands. Wes could catch anything and while he didn't have the first step or straight line speed Percy has, he had freakish stop and go, change of direction and like you said, smoothness. His route running was incredible as well. He would let a corner stick to him, then make a move or shift to higher gear and put five yards between them in an instant.

    Forget Smith, Taylor or Harvin, there has never been a better open field run since Chandler's TD against Auburn. That was my freshman year and it's still the most jaw dropping play I've ever seen on that field. I didn't even know about the eagle until after the game. I was still looking at the entire Auburn secondary getting up off the turf and shaking their heads.

    I met Wes a few times. He dated a girl down the hall from my girlfriend that year. He was a very cool guy. As smooth off the field as he was on the field.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. DoctorGator
    Offline

    DoctorGator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    4,941
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +177
    Before there was Percy, there was Chandler. Great description, mfpardon. I've been trying to describe Chandler for years - a combination of Lance Alworth and Percy Harvin. That's perfect.

    I was there for Chandler's run against Auburn in '76 and the game-winning one-armed catch against UGA in '77. Dickey was ahead of his time and genius-for-a-day in the Georgia game in '77 when he alternated Wes at tailback in the wishbone and wr. That sort of thing just wasn't done back then. It blew Erk Russell's mind, trying to figure out where Chandler was, and we beat UGA for the only time in a nine-year stretch that day.

    Nobody was better than Wes Chandler. Nobody.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. gene
    Offline

    gene Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings Received:
    +31
    I was blessed to see Wes and Emmitt and in my opinion they were the best ever, at least I have see. Wes made it so easy, and Emmitt was just Emmitt. Blessed to have seen them!
  15. gtr2x
    Offline

    gtr2x Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    11,434
    Likes Received:
    302
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +473
    Agreed, his skills certainly weren't maximized in Dickey's offense. Best UF WR ever imo and I was fortunate enough to see him play in person. I still recall a punt return, where he pulled an Ike Hilliard move leaving a defender on the turf.

    I was never a big Emmitt fan, obviously a great player tho. Maybe his post UF Dallas career colors my memory.

    Gators have been fortunate to have a lot of great WRs and RBs over the years. Would be nice to see one or two step up this year.
  16. rball1313
    Offline

    rball1313 Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings Received:
    +109
    was fortunate to be a team mate of Wes at UF, had to practice against him as a DB, and would make this statement that his success as a pro would rank him higher than the potential of Percy. Percy was/is a great player, but what makes the great player a star is one that shows up and plays. Wes did it for a long time. Percy's inability to stay healthy will always put a certain tint of "could have" when you look at what he did accomplish, while Wes just did it for multiple years. Not a knock on the difference maker Percy can be, just need to show up more often. Would loved to see Wes, play the "Percy Position",....might have been called the Wes, he was that good.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. TheRaid
    Offline

    TheRaid VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    9,524
    Likes Received:
    283
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Fairhope, AL (Mobile/Pensacola Area)
    Ratings Received:
    +587
    Appreciate greatness when you can because it is fleeting. You are a blessed Gator if you saw Spurrier comebacks, Alvarez, Youngblood, Chandler, Marshall, The Great Wall, the '84 team, The D against Bo knows, the Three Amigos, Kerwin, run Emmit run, Danny and Co., Rexie, and Tebow and Harvin. I remember and savored all except the first 3, which I have some vague memories of Yougblood as a Gator which are probably induced by film since I was very young then.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
    • Winner Winner x 1
  18. stjohnsgator
    Offline

    stjohnsgator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,601
    Likes Received:
    100
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +102
    IMO Wes was the greatest offensive talent ever to play at UF. With San Diego during the strike shortened season in 1982, Wes was the only receiver in the league to gain over 1000 yds and averaged 129 yards per game, still an NFL record
    • Like Like x 1
  19. ofmgator
    Offline

    ofmgator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,421
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +145
    The truth is that you can never say any single player was the greatest because they all played under different coaching styles during different eras. I've seen all of them play since 1960 and every year/team had its special players...those who won games (singlehandidly) and those who dominated at their position. Ricgard Trap had one of thhe greatest runs in Gator history against uga back in 1964 (?). Fred Taylor destroyed halfassu in 1997. Carlos Alvarez set the standard for great receivers when the Super Sophs ruled the field (Reaves,Alvarez, Durrance and Rich). Kerwin, Emmitt, Yoiungblood, Casey,Louis Oliver, Steve Tannen, SOS, and so many others. To say anyone is the greatest is to forget the past greatnesin the Swamp. Timmmy is the greatest plyayer to date.
  20. Wormwood56
    Offline

    Wormwood56 VIP Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5,005
    Likes Received:
    256
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +998
    An excellent characterization. Percy with Alworth's receiving skills...

    We old-timers remember Wes, and try to explain why we thought he was every bit as good as Harvin, albeit not as valuable to the team (perhaps).

Share This Page