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Westbrook, Washington Among Biletnikoff Award Semifinalists

Two of the Big 12’s hottest receivers, Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook and Oklahoma State’s James Washington, have been named Biletnikoff Award semifinalists.

Getty Images - Brett Deering

The most prestigious receiver award in the country has narrowed down its list of semifinalists to ten players who are all – drum roll – wide receivers.

Since its creation in 1994 the award has gone to a wide receiver every year, even though it is eligible to go to any active college football player. Further, specified on the Biletnikoff website as any player who receives a forward pass regardless of position.

A Big 12 receiver has won the award 5 times in 22 years for the most award recipients than any other conference. Granted that’s not hard to believe since this is an offensive league compared to the others.  The only two Biletnikoff repeats also hail from the Big 12 with Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree and Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon both winning the award in back-to-back years.

This year the Big 12 has two players on the semifinalist list, Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook and Oklahoma States James Washington.

Player

School

Austin Carr Northwestern
Corey Davis Western Michigan
Amba Etta-Tawo Syracuse
Carlos Henderson Louisiana Tech
Isaiah “Zay” Jones East Carolina
John Ross Washington
Taywan Taylor Western Kentucky
Trent Taylor Louisiana Tech
James Washington Oklahoma State
Dede Westbrook Oklahoma

Looking at the stats, my top five on the list are Austin Carr, Corey Davis, John Ross, James Washington and DeDe Westbrook in no particular order.  It also looks like Dede Westbrook might have the slight edge in that group.

Player

G

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

YPG

Austin Carr 10 75 1102 14.7 12 110.2
Corey Davis 10 62 1029 16.6 14 102.9
Amba Etta-Tawo 10 78 1242 15.9 8 124.2
Carlos Henderson 11 61 1179 19.3 16 107.2
Isaiah “Zay” Jones 11 139 1473 10.6 6 133.9
John Ross 10 52 896 17.2 15 89.6
Taywan Taylor 11 77 1340 17.4 13 121.8
Trent Taylor 11 103 1343 13.0 10 122.1
James Washington 10 75 1102 14.7 12 110.2
DeDe Westbrook 10 68 1254 18.4 14 125.4

However,  the award is given based on more than just stats. There are other factors to consider according to the Biletnikoff Award website:

Every candidate must display leadership and self-discipline; and he must have a significant, positive impact on his team’s success. Misconduct is a negative indicator of leadership, self-discipline, and positive team influence.” 

Westbrook has been nothing short of amazing for his team this year, and frankly seems unarguable. He’s made of habit of making corners look silly, and once he’s got the ball in his hands, good night!

However, don’t count out James Washington. Beyond his numbers, he’s come up huge when Oklahoma State has needed him, and has taken over games. Westbrook has come on strong as of late, but Washington has been balling all season.

If I was a betting man (which I am), I would put my money on Westbrook to be the winner. With two big matchups left with West Virginia and Oklahoma State he will have ample opportunity to show off his skills.

The three finalist for the award will be named on November 21st.

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