Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Big East Biletnikoff Watch List

ESPN's Big East Blog released the names of the conference's candidates for the Biletnikoff Award. The award is given annually to the nations best receiver. Let's take a look at the candidates.

Tavon Austin (West Virginia):
The converted RB has taken quite a liking to his new position. Austin blew up in 2010 with 58 receptions and eight touchdowns. He is Geno Smith's favorite returning target, mostly lining up in the slot, but also shows plenty of poise from the outside. Look for Austin's numbers to even get better this season with Dana Holgorsen's passer-friendly system. It could be an epic year for Tavon.
2010 Stats: 58 Rec, 787 Yards, 8 TDs
Chance of Winning on a Scale of 1-10: 7.2

Van Chew (Syracuse): Obviously has the best name of anyone on the watch list. He "chewed" up yardage last year(see what I did there?), going for over 600 yards on 41 receptions. He also found the endzone five times, in what turned out to be a prolific 2010 year. Chew's numbers should improve with QB, Ryan Nassib steadily maturing. He doesn't get enough credit for his range, but stats don't lie. He averaged over 16 yards per catch.
2010 Stats: 41 Rec, 611 Yards, 5 Tds
Chance of Winning on a Scale of 1-10: 5.8

Mike Shanahan (Pitt): Ladies and Gentlemen, meet your new Pitt star receiver. Shanahan put up very respectable numbers in 2010. He benefited from Jon Baldwin being double-teamed, and now is the big man in Oakland. Look for Shanahan to be targeted much more in 2011, especially in the redzone, a place he only reached once last season. The stars are aligned for this kid to take over, but will his QB let him down?
2010 Stats: 43 Rec, 589 Yards, 1 TD
Chance of Winning on a Scale of 1-10: 6.5

D.J. Woods (Cincinnati): Woods benefited from key injuries in 2010 and ended up having a superb season. He went over 100 yards receiving three times, and finished with 10 total touchdowns. He did put the ball on the ground numerous times, but the talent is certainly there. Look for a 1,000-plus yard season for the speedy wideout in 2011, especially with his QB improving in Butch Jones' system.
2010 Stats: 57 Rec, 898 Yards, 10 Total TDs
Chance of Winning on a Scale of 1-10: 6.8

Michael Smith (UConn): Academically Ineligible for the 2011 season. Not sure why he is on the list.
2010 Stats: 46 Rec, 615 Yards, 2 TDs
Chance of Winning on a Scale of 1-10: 0.0

Mark Harrison (Rutgers): The dude was a scoring machine last year, with nine touchdowns, including four in one game. Harrison has essentially become the number one threat over Mohamed Sanu, but it is truly a solid one-two combination. Though that combination could harm his chances at winning this award if Sanu stays healthy, and becomes number one again. Either way, it should be another solid season for Harrison.
2010 Stats: 43 Rec, 829 Yards, 9 TDs
Chance of Winning on a Scale of 1-10: 6.5

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