The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation has trimmed down the list of the nation’s top receivers to 10 semifinalists for this year’s Biletnikoff Award. The award doesn’t necessarily have to go to a wide receiver, but this year’s award will maintain that tradition with 10 semifinalists all playing the wide receiver position.
Among the semifinalists are the nation’s leading receiver, Colorado State’s Michael Gallup (1,298 yards), the nation’s leader in receiving touchdowns, West Virginia’s David Sills V (18 touchdowns), and the nation’s leader in receptions per game, SMU’s Trey Quinn (9.6 receptions per game). The semifinalist list also includes key players on conference contenders like Deontay Burnett of USC and James Washington of Oklahoma State.
A Big 12 receiver has won the award each of the past two seasons, so that may be good news for one of the three semifinalists from the Big 12 this season. Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook won the award a year ago, preceded by Baylor’s Corey Coleman in 2015.A Big 12 player has won the award a total of six times since 2007, with Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree and Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon each winning the award twice.
2017 Biletnikoff Semifinalists
- Darren Andrews, UCLA
- A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
- Deontay Burnett, USC
- Keke Coutee, Texas Tech
- Michael Gallup, Colorado State
- Steve Ishmael, Syracuse
- Anthony Miller, Memphis
- Trey Quinn, SMU
- David Sills, West Virginia
- James Washington, Oklahoma State
More so than any other football program of late, LSU has been hit hard by early departures to the NFL. At least on one front this year, however, the Tigers were spared such a hit.
In a conversation with Baton Rouge television sports reporter Michael Cauble Tuesday, Travin Dural confirmed that he will forego early entry into the NFL draft and return to LSU for another season. A redshirt sophomore, Dural would be eligible for early entry into the NFL draft as he’s three years removed from high school.
LSU has lost 16 players to early entry the last two years, but, as noted by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the NFL has somewhat tweaked its procedures for this year’s class.
A maximum of five players from each school will receive a draft grade [from the NFL’s advisory panel] and the grades will be of three types: first round, second round or to return to school.
Regardless of the why, Dural’s return is a significant one.
In 2014, Dural was far and away the Tigers’ leader in receptions (37) receiving yards (758) and receiving touchdowns (seven). The next closest was Trey Quinn‘s 17 catches and Malachi Dupre‘s 318 yards.
Les Miles turned Michigan down to remain at LSU in 2007 and in 2010, and appears prepared to do so again in 2014.
Speaking to reporters after Monday’s practice, Miles reaffirmed his commitment to stay at LSU for an 11th season in 2015.
“There’s a tradition and a culture here we’ve kind of established. The young men that come in here really enjoy stepping into this room and being a part of that culture,” Miles told The Advocate. “I think that this team has the potential to play in championships.”
LSU played has two quarterbacks this season, sophomore Anthony Jennings and freshman Brandon Harris. Its leading rusher is true freshman Leonard Fournette. Its leading receiver, Travin Dural, is a sophomore, and its next three pass catchers – Malachi Dupre, John Diarse and Trey Quinn – are all freshman. This is a young team.
And its a young team that got better throughout the season. The Tigers beat then-undefeated Ole Miss, and nearly knocked off No. 1 Alabama. LSU closed the regular season by winning at Texas A&M, 23-17. One can see why Miles is optimistic.
And for the “Well, what is he supposed to say?” crowd, there is this, from LSU beat writer Ross Dellenger:
However, Miles refused to be quoted on the record on the subject, according to ESPN.com.
LSU closes the 2014 season against Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Miles is 103-28 with one national championship, two SEC championships and three SEC West championships in his decade at LSU.