Biletnikoff Update

Lost in the shadow of the Heisman race is a collection of receivers having monster seasons while vying for the Biletnikoff Award, which honors the nation’s top wide out.

Leading the way is Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, who will probably place in the top 8 of the final Heisman vote.  Blackmon, a sophomore, already has 62 catches for 1,112 yards and 14 touchdowns…through seven games.  He’s on pace to finish with 115 catches for 2,067 yards and 26 touchdowns.  The 2,067 yards would be seven more than the NCAA record set by Trevor Insley of Nevada in 1999, while the 26 touchdowns would be just one shy of Troy Edwards’ season mark set in 1998.  And don’t think that Blackmon is putting up his numbers against just anyone–he exploited the Nebraska secondary and future first-round cornerback Prince Amukamara to the tune of 157 yards and two touchdowns on just five catches last Saturday.

Also having a huge year is another sophomore, South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery.  He has caught 49 balls for 848 yards and six scores,which puts him on pace for 91 catches for 1,573 yards and 12 touchdowns.  If Blackmon doesn’t win the Biletnikoff, Jeffery probably will.

Let’s not forget Ryan Broyles of Oklahoma, who has 69 receptions for 810 yards and five touchdowns through seven games, or the dynamic Hawaii duo of Greg Salas (70/1,068/8) and Kealoha Pilares (60/891/11).

In any other year, these kind of numbers would be blowing people away, but Blackmon’s amazing stats and the overall depth of quality receivers this season–we’ll probably see 30 players or more top the 1,000-yard mark–has made them seem a bit less remarkable.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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20 Responses to Biletnikoff Update

  1. Alex October 26, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    Did you actually watch the OSU Nebraska game? 80 of Blackmon’s yards came on a flea flicker that Prince bit on. I wouldn’t exactly give him credit for beating Prince there. Other then that it was a pretty even matchup, which is certainly still impressive, just not nearly as impressive as the raw numbers make it seem.

  2. ADP October 26, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    Why does the fact that the CB bit on a flea flicker matter? He bit on a play fake…seems to me that’s part of the game.

  3. Alex October 26, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    A flea flicker is different than a play fake. Prince came forward because the RB had the ball. He wasn’t able to recover in time when the RB flipped it back to the QB. I’m not going to give the WR credit for beating the CB when all that actually happened is the offense made an aggressive play call that payed off. I’d say the same thing if a WR got a big play off of a reverse pass where he bit on the reverse. I’m not going to give a WR credit for a trick play working.

  4. frank October 26, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    I agree with Alex here. Blackmon made an easy catch for 80 yards that just about any WR in college football could have made. He didn’t exploit Prince, the play did.

    • Heismanpundit October 26, 2010 at 11:21 am #

      You guys act like that was Blackmon’s only play of the night. Take that play away and he still had 4 catches for 77 yards and a score.

  5. Chris October 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    They don’t act like it was Blackmon’s only play. But you tell us Blackmon “exploited” Amukamara. In reality Blackmon only caught three balls against Amukamara including the flea-flicker.

    Three receptions in a loss isn’t exploitation.

  6. Alex October 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Jesus, you don’t even read comments either do you. To quote my first one:

    Other then that it was a pretty even matchup, which is certainly still impressive, just not nearly as impressive as the raw numbers make it seem.

    Yeah, I’m definitely acting like that was Blackmon’s only the play of the night. Hey, I guess when you show you didn’t actually watch the performance you’re commenting on, the best way to react is ignore what was actually said and resort to straw man arguments to try and save some sort of dignity. Well played HP…

  7. Jack October 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    While none of their receivers are putting up award winning numbers, I continue to be amazed by Arkansas’ receivers and the number of them. Greg Childs is going to be a beast at the next level, and Joe Adams is a monster in the open field(had a 97 yard punt return this week). They lost both of those guys to injuries against Ole Miss and Jarius Wright and Cobi Hamilton came in and picked up right where the others left off.

    A.J. Green is another receiver that isn’t putting up great numbers but continues to amaze. That was expected though, he’s a great one.

    Jeff Maehl of Oregon has been pretty incredible too, but is overshadowed by Thomas and James.

  8. Heismanpundit October 26, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    What I wrote was that Blackmon exploited the Nebraska secondary, Amukamara included. I wasn’t just singling out Amukamara.

    But, yes, I did watch the game. When you take away the 80 yard reception–though I’m not sure why it doesn’t count to get beat on a flea flicker–he still caught 4 balls for 75 yards and a score. That’s 18.5 yards per catch, for those keeping score at home. Included in that was a 35 or 40 yarder that Blackmon caught over Amukamara. Another time he forced Amukamara into a PI penalty.

    As for the flea flicker itself, the ball was underthrown and Blackmon made a great adjustment and then ran away from Amukamara, who was unable to keep contact.

    This is not to say Amukamara is bad–I clearly point out that he’s a probable first rounder…it’s just that Blackmon got the better of him on that day. The numbers he put up attest to that.

  9. Jack October 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    I think Blackmon’s chances are gone. Arrested for DUI. Should be some suspension for that:

  10. Chris October 26, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    You said Blackmon exploited the Nebraska secondary AND he exploited Amukamara. Now you say you weren’t singling Amukamara out. Flippity-floppity.

    Regarding the flea flicker, the two safeties spotted Blackmon 20 yards. You do know why safeties are called safeties don’t you?

    Others rightly point out that Blackmon did nothing extraordinary on that play… it was the threat of Kendall Hunter that made the safeties forget their responsibility.

  11. Heismanpundit October 26, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    Verbatim quote: “he exploited the Nebraska secondary and future first-round cornerback Prince Amukamara to the tune of 157 yards.”

    If you know anything about grammar, I am including Amukamara as part of an overall ‘exploitation’, not singling out both him and the secondary in separate cases. Dumbitty-dumbitty.

    Did you even see the play, or were you too busy watching whatever SEC game you were in front of to notice?

    see the :39 second point:
    Blackmon beat Amukamara on single coverage and then made a nice adjustment on the underthrown ball and then beat Amukamara to the endzone. Blackmon was not wide open at all, but made a nice play and then out ran Amukamara to the end zone even though Amukamara was in position to make a tackle.


  12. Jack October 26, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    Good ole HP, thinks everyone that could possibly disagree with him is an SEC homer.
    You have a bigger Anti-SEC agenda than any one I’ve read.

    • Heismanpundit October 26, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

      Jack (of Little Rock), clearly you haven’t seen this guy “Chris” and his agenda in the last month or two in my comments section. He has no dog in this fight, but is just trying to stir things up. Obviously, I don’t believe Alex is an SEC homer, do I? So there goes your point. But “Chris” , who lives in Georgia, clearly is an SEC homer and has proven that over and over. And i think it’s funny that someone who is probably an Arkansas fan would complain about this since I had Arkansas in my top preseason top 10, Ryan Mallet as my All-American QB and Joe Adams on my list of top 10 receivers. Not to mention that I ranked the SEC No. 1 preseason. Most of my complaints have to do with media coverage of the SEC, not the league itself.

  13. Alex October 26, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    What play are you watching? Blackmon didn’t “beat” Prince. Prince bit on the flea flicker for a split second which allowed Blackmon to get by him. Blackmon also didn’t out run Akumkamara, nor was Prince in a position to make the tackle. Because Blackmon got a 5 to 10 yard head start from the flea flicker, Prince never got to look back for the ball, stumbled as he tried to adjust and never made it back up to full speed after the stumble. Blackmon was most certainly wide open, which is why it was so easy for him to adjust to it uncontested. Prince was 5 yards away from him as he began to slow down and the safeties were barely even in the picture, even though they were clearly supposed to be playing 2 deep.

    • Heismanpundit October 26, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

      Alex, you are not looking at the same play I’m looking at.

      Watch the tape. He runs with Blackmon from the snap. The “bite” is minuscule and at that point Blackmon isn’t even streaking yet (he’s lolligagging as if it’s a run play). Once the ball is given back to the QB, he’s only a step beyond Prince at that point, not “5 or 10 yards”…..Blackmon was able to adjust to the ball easily because Prince never looked back (which is bad technique). At no point was Blackmon “5 yards” in front of him until the very end, after Blackmon ran away from him after catching it. If Prince had adjusted to the ball and closed on Blackmon, he would’ve been able to tackle him, but he stumbled. Well, that’s part of getting beat.

      Look. Amukamara had one responsibility on that play and that was to cover, arguably, the best receiver in college football. Even the best corners get beat sometime, and this is what happened. I’m not sure why you are trying to qualify it. He got beat! If a guy bites on a play action pass, that’s still getting beat…part of playing corner is not to bite on things like that.

      Finally, we can agree to disagree over this, but Blackmon had 5 catches for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns. In what world is that not considered being ‘exploited?’ I’m pretty sure my world is the one that most people live in.

  14. Jack October 26, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    Either way, I’m sure some suspension time will come for Blackmon after today’s arrest and that will probably end up hurting his stats for the year.

  15. Chris October 27, 2010 at 4:42 am #

    Why are you obsessing about the SEC here? Like most, I think Amukamara held his own that day, you claim he got exploited.

    Let’s look at the lead in to your quote which you omitted:
    “And don’t think that Blackmon is putting up his numbers against just anyone–”

    Amukamara is the only guy you mention… how can you say you didn’t single him out? The flea flicker worked because neither safety was in a safe position. They had lost contain by 20 yards due to Kendall Hunter and a great play call.

    A receiver who averages 10 receptions/game needed a flea-flicker to catch 5 and avoid his worst production of the year in an upset loss at home. On balance I think the Amukamara-Blackmon matchup was a draw.

  16. Roby October 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    I’m all about calling out HP when he deserves it, but you guys are being ridiculous. None of the crap you are saying has any merit. Blackmon put up good numbers. He made the plays presented to him. Nobody is saying you have to cream over the fairly simple play he made on the flea-flicker, but he made the play and you can’t selectively take yards away from him because the defense bit on it.

  17. Chris October 28, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    Roby –

    The matchup between Blackmon and Amukamara was much hyped and a lot of folks paid close attention to how it went… even when no pass was thrown. Blackmon looked to be the primary receiver on quite a few plays when Amukamara had him covered. Pellini praised Amukamara for almost making up for the safety’s mistake on the flea-flicker. That means Blackmon caught two balls and drew one penalty against Amukamara. That’s not bad, but Amukamara wasn’t exploited in that game.