Colts Great Reggie Wayne: A True Team Player

“Reggie Wayne…The U.”  For twelve years now we have been hearing that line whenever the Colts play on primetime, which is something they have done many times since Wayne started his tremendous career in 2001 in Indianapolis. The thirty-four year old wide out from The University of Miami truly has become one of a kind in today’s NFL, as it is very rare nowadays that a player can stick with the same team his entire career. If  this season is any indication however, not only will Wayne continue to be Andrew Luck’s favorite target, but he still has at least a few years left in the tank, almost certainly with Indianapolis.

Reggie Wayne 350x350Wayne has had a rebirth 2012 season in year one of the Andrew Luck era. After a rough year in 2011 due to a struggling quarterback situation where Wayne had lows in catches, yards, and touchdowns since his first year as a starter in 2003, number 87 is on pace to make his sixth Pro Bowl in seven years this season. Entering week thirteen, Wayne is tops in the league in catches (84), targets (144), and first down receptions (59), while being second in the league in yards (1,105), and third in catches of over twenty yards (19). It is his longevity and consistency (eight seasons and counting of at least 75 catches and 1,000 yards) that have made him such a fan favorite among Colts fans.

Wayne  has been fortunate by being a starting receiver for one of the best quarterbacks of all time in Peyton Manning, but Manning was always quick to tell reporters that it was a two way street. After the duo reached the heralded 10,000 career yard mark as a tandem in 2010, Manning told reporters that “it always helps when you’re throwing to a guy who has so many ways of getting open,” adding that Wayne has always been a “complete receiver.” With Manning having moved on to Denver however, the veteran Wayne took on a new task: being rookie Andrew Luck’s security blanket, helping the quarterback break the rookie single game passing record earlier this season.

Like many athletes, Wayne is a model off the field as well as on. Each year, Wayne hosts a charity basketball game that supports the Indiana chapter of the Make-A-Wish foundation, as well as local schools. It is those kinds of acts that make Reggie Wayne who he is as a person, and not just as a Pro Bowl receiver.

Wayne was inducted in to the University of Miami sports Hall of Fame in 2011, and is the school’s all time leader in receptions (173).  Wayne also holds the record for most consecutive games with at least one catch at 36 games. If Wayne can stay healthy for a few more years, and Luck can continue to progress, The U of M Hall of Fame won’t be the only one he belongs to, as there is one in Canton that may someday bear his name.


By Ace Vetrano


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