Nevada Sports Net's G.O.A.T bracket challenge will unveil the greatest sports figure in Northern Nevada's history piece by piece over the next several weeks. Here is a description of the entire project, which is an NCAA Tournament-style bracket of the 64 greatest athletes and coaches from Northern Nevada. Readers will get to vote on one matchup every day with a 24-hour voting period until we crown a champion. You can vote on today's matchup on the Twitter poll linked at the bottom of this article.
Elite Eight: No. 16 Nate Burleson vs. No. 2 Matt Williams
Nate Burleson's bio: Prior to his time at Nevada, Burleson was the Seattle Times City high school athlete of the year as a three-spot star in football, basketball and track and field. ... Burleson was a wide receiver for Nevada from 2000-02 and led the nation in receptions (138) and receiving yards (1,629) in 2002 while scoring 13 touchdowns. ... His 138 receptions in 2002 are the sixth most in a season in NCAA history and earned his finalist honors for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation's top receiver. Burleson was named an All-American that season. ... Burleson ranks 15th in NCAA history in receptions per game for a career (7.75) and 22nd in receiving yards per game in a career (102.9). ... Burleson holds the NCAA record for receiving yards in a game without scoring a touchdown (326 versus San Jose State on Nov. 10, 2001) .... Burleson was the No. 71 pick in the NFL draft in 2002 and played 11 seasons in the league. ... He caught 457 passes for 5,630 yards and 39 touchdowns in stints with four teams. ... Burleson added four return touchdowns in his NFL career. ... His best NFL season came in 2004, his second year in the league, when he caught 68 passes for 1,006 yards and nine touchdowns, the latter two numbers being career highs. ... He is the only Wolf Pack player to have a 1,000-yard receiving season in the NFL. ... Since retiring, Burleson has worked in broadcasting for NFL Network's Good Morning Football, CBS Sports' The NFL Today and the entertainment news program Extra. ... He owns the clothing line Lionblood Clothing.
Matt Williams' bio: The best baseball player in Northern Nevada's history, Williams attended Carson High where he earned his "Carson Crusher" nickname thanks to his prodigious home run blasts. He also served as the Senators' starting quarterback. ... He was drafted in the 27th round by the Mets out of high school but attended UNLV, where he became an All-American shortstop. ... From 1984-86, Williams hit .327 with 58 homers and 217 RBIs. As a junior, he hit .351 with 25 homers and 89 RBIs in 57 games before turning pro. ... Williams was inducted into UNLV's Hall of Fame in 1997 and his number has been retired by the Rebels. ... After three college seasons, Williams was the third pick of the 1986 draft by the Giants, the highest of any Northern Nevadan in any sport. ... Williams played 17 big-league seasons with three teams (Giants, Indians, Diamondbacks) and hit .268 with 378 homers (75th in MLB history) and 1,218 RBIs (147th in MLB history). ... Williams was a five-time All-Star (1990, 94-96, 99) who won four Gold Gloves at third base (1991, 93-94, 97) and four Silver Sluggers (1990, 93-94, 97). ... Williams' best season came in 1994 when he .267 and led the majors with 43 home runs when the season was canceled due to a players strike. Williams was on pace to hit 61 homers, which would have tied Rogers Maris' single-season record. ... Williams was runner-up for the NL MVP that season. ... He is on the San Francisco Giants' Wall of Fame. ... Williams won the World Series with the Diamondbacks in 2001. ... After his playing career, Williams was a coach for the Diamondbacks before being hired as the Nationals' manager, making him one of four locals to manage a major professional sports team. ... Williams was named the NL Manager of the Year in 2014 before being fired after the 2015 season. ... He is currently the manager of the Kia Tigers, a team based in South Korea.
You can vote via the Twitter poll below.