Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett was named the winner of the Jet Award, it was announced Thursday. Just what, exactly, is the Jet Award? Great question.
According to TheJetAward.com, “The Jet Award honors the most exciting and electrifying play in college football, the return. Those daredevils that dare to participate who we call specialists.” Okay, then.
Given in honor of Heisman Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Famer Johnny “Jet” Rodgers of Nebraska, the Jet Award has been in existence since 2011. Joe Adams (Arkansas), Tavon Austin (West Virginia) and Ty Montgomery (Stanford) preceded Lockett in claiming the historic honor.
Kansas State’s all-time leading receiver, Lockett led the nation with a 19.1-yard punt return average and ranked third nationally in all-purpose yards per game at 176.6. The Tulsa product led the Big 12 in punt returns, receiving yards and all-purpose yards and finished his career ranked second among all Wildcats in all-purpose yardage, trailing only Darren Sproles.
Lockett will accept the honor April 2 in Omaha.
A shoulder injury is going to cost Stanford its top play-maker in this week’s Foster Farms Bowl, as do-it-all senior Ty Montgomery was ruled out on Sunday.
Montgomery’s status was up in the air all month after missing the Cardinal’s upset of UCLA in the regular season finale, and it was the same shoulder he underwent surgery on this offseason.
Head coach David Shaw said that if the game was later in the week Montgomery would be more likely to give it a go, but the Cardinal’s medical staff is erring on the side of caution here. As for the Stanford offense… well, there’s no sugarcoating it, Montgomery at times was the Stanford offense. He led the club with 61 grabs for 604 yards and three touchdowns, rushed 23 times for 146 yards and two scores, returned 12 punts for 238 yards and two touchdowns and averaged just north of 25 yards on 17 kickoff returns. Montgomery was responsible for six touchdowns this season; only one other Stanford wideout totaled more than two. Even without Montgomery, though, the Cardinal should be favorites to beat Maryland.
Stanford will meet Maryland across the Bay at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET (ESPN).
In late November, Stanford head coach David Shaw said there was a “distinct possibility” Ty Montgomery would be available to play in a bowl game. With that game now three days away, how distinct of a possibility it still is remains to be seen.
Shaw stated Saturday, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News writes, “Montgomery’s availability for the Foster Farms Bowl remains in question.” Stanford will square off with Maryland in this coming Tuesday’s game.
Montgomery sustained a shoulder injury in the Nov. 22 win over Cal, and didn’t play in the regular-season finale against UCLA a week later. It’s the same shoulder that nearly kept him out of the 2014 opener after undergoing surgery earlier in the offseason.
Montgomery leads the Cardinal in receptions (61) and receiving yards (604), and is tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns (three). Montgomery’s absence would also hurt the Cardinal on special teams as he’s their leading kickoff (25.2 yards per return) and punt returner (19.8 ypr). He’s returned two punts for touchdowns this season.
In one of the least surprising results of the 2014 award season, Shaq Thompson has staked his claim to a trophy honoring the most versatile player in the country.
Friday morning, it was announced that the Washington linebacker/running back/running backer/running Shaqer has been named as the 2014 recipient of the Hornung Award. Other finalists for this year’s version of the award, which honors versatile former Notre Dame great Paul Hornung, were Nebraska running back/return specialist Ameer Abdullah, TCU running back/return specialist B.J. Catalon, Stanford wide receiver/return specialist Ty Montgomery and Missouri running back/return specialist Marcus Murphy.
This season, Thompson scored six touchdowns — four defensively, two on offense. The four defensive touchdowns (three on fumble returns, on an interception return) were the most at the FBS level.
Offensively, he was second on the Huskies in rushing yards with 456.
“I’m very pleased for Shaq,” said UW Head Coach Chris Petersen. “This is an honor that he has earned on the field and off. For a player to perform at such a high level in so many different ways is so unusual and impressive. We’re grateful that all of his hard work has been recognized.”
This is the fifth year the Hornung Award has been handed out. Past recipients include LSU’s Odell Beckham (2013), West Virginia’s Tavon Austin (2012), Georgia’s Brandon Boykin (2011) and Stanford’s Owen Marecic (2010).
UCLA needs one more win to clinch the Pac-12 South Division, but the Bruins may have to do so without the services of one of their top wide receivers. Thomas Duarte had to leave practice on Tuesday after injuring his left leg, putting his status for Saturday’s contest with Stanford in some question.
“He is so important to us,” UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said according to The Los Angeles Times. “He has excellent ball skills, and that’s big for us. He is an inside guy that causes matchup problems.”
Duarte is UCLA’s second-leading receiver this season with 458 yards and three touchdowns. Tyler Scott has been listed behind Duarte on the UCLA depth chart and could be in line for a spot start if needed. Freshman Mossi Johnson could be another possible option if it comes to needing to replace Duarte.
If UCLA defeats Stanford, the Bruins will win the Pac-12 South and face Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game. A UCLA loss to Stanford will hand the division championship to the winner of the Arizona-Arizona State game.
Stanford will be playing UCLA without its top wide receiver. Ty Montgomery has been ruled out due to a right shoulder injury.