At the conclusion of his career, no Purdue football player had caught more passes than Tim Stratton.
The sure-handed Stratton had 204 receptions during his career from 1998 to 2001, breaking the school record of 181 by running back Rodney Carter. Moreover, Stratton became just the third player in Big Ten Conference history with 200 career catches, trailing only David Williams of Illinois (1983-85) with 262 and D'Wayne Bates of Northwestern (1995-98) with 210. Stratton's record since has been broken first by John Standeford (266 catches from 2000 to 2003) and subsequently by Taylor Stubblefield (325 catches from 2001 to 2004) and Dorien Bryant (292 catches from 2004 to 2007), and Stratton ranked ninth in Big Ten history through the 2011 season.
Consistency was Stratton's trademark. He caught 38 passes in 1998, 49 in 1999, 58 in 2000 and 59 in 2001. On the school career lists, he ranks eighth with 2,088 receiving yards and tied for seventh with 15 receiving touchdowns.
In 2000, Stratton was named the inaugural recipient of the John Mackey Award, presented to the nation's best tight end. The following year, he was one of six semifinalists for the honor. He was a three-time first team All-Big Ten honoree, just the fourth at Purdue (also end Bob Hadrick, 1963-64-65; middle guard Chuck Kyle, 1966-67-68; and free safety Rod Woodson, 1984-85-86).
Stratton played in all 49 Purdue games during his career and caught a pass in all but two of them. On Nov. 20, 2001, at Ohio State, he had a 36-game consecutive reception streak stopped. The only other game in which Stratton failed to make a reception was at Wisconsin on Oct. 10, 1998, when the Boilermakers threw an NCAA-record 83 passes, completing 55.
One of the most colorful players in Purdue history, Stratton made headlines after losing his helmet while celebrating with fans on the field following the Boilermakers' upset of fifth-ranked Michigan in 2000. The free spirit made a habit out of playing catch with fans during pregame warm-ups, signaling "first down" after a big catch and leading the singing of "Hail Purdue" after each victory. He authored a weekly diary for ABC Sports.com during his junior season.
Stratton's Purdue Statistics