Nicks was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He never lost a game in high school, and completed his senior year with MVP honors at the State Championship game. That year, he was selected to the North Carolina Associated Press All-State team.
After high school, Nicks went on to play at the University of North Carolina. During his freshman season, Nicks started every game except one (which he missed due to injury) and set UNC single-season records for receptions and receiving yards by a freshman. Following his junior season, Nicks set 14 school records, including career receptions, career receiving yards and career touchdowns.
After college, Nicks was considered to be one of the top wide receivers available in the 2009 NFL Draft and was picked up in the first round by the New York Giants. In October of that season, Nicks was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month.
ESPN.com analyst K. C. Joyner said he believes Nicks has the potential to become the NFL’s best wide receiver in part because of his superior route-running. In the 2011 season, Nicks had his second straight 1,000 + yard-receiving season. He caught 76 passes for 1,192 yards (15.7 yards per catch average) and 7 touchdowns.
Wes Welker began his football career at Heritage Hall High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where he helped his team win a State Football Championship. In1999, he was named Oklahoma State Player of the Year by USA Today. Welker attended Texas Tech and earned the nickname “The Natural” after an outstanding college career.
In 2004, Welker was not drafted in the NFL and later signed a free agent contract with the San Diego Chargers. After a short stint with the Chargers, he moved to the Miami Dolphins where he played on special teams. Welker became the second player in NFL history to return a kickoff and a punt, kick an extra point and a field goal and make a tackle in a single game.
In the 2007 pre-season, the New England Patriots traded two top draft picks to obtain Welker. That same year, he tied the Super Bowl record of 11 receptions in a single game at Super Bowl XLII. At the end of his 2008 season with the Patriots, Welker was selected to attend the 2009 Pro Bowl and was named AP All-Pro Second Team.
In 2011, Welker started the season with a record tie for the longest play from scrimmage against the Miami Dolphins. Through week 15 of the season, Welker led the team in receptions, receiving yards, yards per game and receptions for first downs. Welker was also ranked in the top five for receiving touchdowns and receptions of 20 yards or more. He finished the season with 122 receptions, 1,569 receiving yards and 77 receptions and scored a career high 9 touchdown receptions.
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