BYU Football kicks off against the University of Utah in only 32 more days.
No. 32 Eric Drage – Wide Receiver – 1990-1993
BYU Football is historically known for their quarterbacks, however that can only be done if there are dependable receivers as well. Surprisingly, many of BYU’s QB’s in the past have not had to rely on only one or two receivers which is why there aren’t a ton of them in the Top 100.
Eric Drage is one of the few exceptions to that general trend. Drage played in some of the highest and exciting times ever for BYU with Ty Detmer as the quarterback. Running the ball was not really part of the game plan, except when the Cougars were already up by 20+, which essentially made Drage a running back in a sense that he was constantly touching the ball.
Eric Drage is one of a few players in college football that goes from nobody to an instant star over one season. During his freshman season he didn’t do much, and by his sophomore season he was the go to receiver on the team. While he didn’t help Ty Detmer much during his heisman campaign, he did help out quite a bit Detmer’s senior season as well as the transition time between Detmer and John Walsh.
It is really tough to have four consecutive seasons of improvement for a receiver because they are possibly the most easy position to contain by defenses. Unlike running backs or quarterbacks that will eventually find their way, a receiver just needs to be double teamed to be limited. Drage nearly pulled off the impossible by improving for three straight seasons before defenses figured him out his senior year (and Ty Detmer wasn’t there). Overall however for his career he had 3,194 receiving yards, 29 touchdowns and only one lost fumble. His most impressive statistic is the 18.36 yards per reception. That number is what you would expect from the receiver who has 10 catches all season, not a player who averages five or six catches a game. Finally, he is in the Top 10 all time at BYU in about a dozen categories including third all time in receiving yards.
Memorable Moments A
While Drage didn’t have amazing seasons while the Cougars were in their prime, he still had some great moments that will go down in history. The most famous one is the 97 yard reception against Utah. That play still holds to be the longest from scrimmage play ever at BYU. During that game he also had two more touchdowns and a combined 188 yards. Below are some other highlights that Drage had in 1991, the only season where he really played with Ty Detmer.