Matchup Monday: Robert Brooks vs. Jermale Kelly

By Rixon Lane

Our "Matchup Monday" series now advances to the wide receiver position. 

This week, we pit a pair of wideouts with nearly identical career numbers against one another.

The only question is...who was better? 

 

The case for...Robert Brooks

Remembered for his No. 49 jersey, few players in Gamecock history had the ability to provide more highlight-reel material than Robert Brooks. HIs iconic one-handed catch against Georgia in 1988 is burned in the memory of every Gamecock fan who saw the spectacular grab. When Brooks left South Carolina, only Sterling Sharpe has amassed more receiving yards and no Gamecock receiver had hauled in more touchdown catches. Brooks finished his career with 156 catches for 2,211 yards and 19 touchdowns. 

 

The case for...Jermale Kelly

A standout pass-catcher in the late 90s, Kelly became one of the most consistent performers of the decade for South Carolina. In 1997, Kelly became just the third Gamecock receiver in history to catch double-digit touchdown passes, tying the school record with 10 TD receptions. Kelly also tied Sterling Sharpe's record with receptions in 34 consecutive games, a record that would stand until 2008. During his time with the Gamecocks, Kelly caught 153 passes for 2,181 yards and 19 touchdowns. 

 

The verdict...

Kelly had the misfortune of playing on some of South Carolina's worst teams, while Brooks benefited from a more open offensive system. However, Brooks was a game-changer who forced teams to plan for him each and every week. He gets the nod.