All season long we’ve asked you to vote for your favorite catches. And after another contested round of voting, we’ve reached the final four.
The field was first narrowed from 10 to eight when Michigan State’s Aaron Burbridge edged Houston’s Demarcus Ayers and Mississippi State’s Fred Ross took down Akron’s Austin Wolf.
After hundreds of votes were tallied, the field again shrunk, this time to four.
Here’s how the voting broke down:
No. 1 Francis Owusu, Stanford (65 percent of vote) vs. No. 8 Fred Ross, Mississippi State (35 percent)
No. 4 Kenny Golladay, Northern Illinois (53 percent) vs. No. 5 George Kittle, Iowa (47 percent)
No. 3 Shamier Jeffery, South Carolina (46 percent) vs. No. 6 Amara Darboh, Michigan (54 percent)
No. 2 Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State (66 percent) vs. No. 7 Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State (34 percent)
The top two seeds – Stanford’s Francis Owusu and Boise State’s Thomas Sperbeck – moved on by fairly sizable margins. The other two matchups – No. 4 Kenny Golladay vs. No. 5 George Kittle and No. 3 Shamier Jeffery vs. No. 6 Amara Darboh – were much more contested.
Northern Illinois’ Golladay knocked out Iowa’s Kittle, the lone tight end to make it this far, by just 74 votes. The 3-6 matchup featured our lone upset, with Michigan’s Darboh edging Jeffery of South Carolina.
That gives us our final two matchups:
No. 1 Francis Owusu (Stanford) vs. No. 4 Kenny Golladay (Northern Illinois)
Francis Owusu, Stanford - Week 7 vs. UCLA
By the time this Kevin Hogan pass hit the hands of Stanford junior Francis Owusu, the ball appears to be blocked completely from his sight. Nonetheless, he still managed to bring in this insane leaping touchdown catch against UCLA.
The catch capped off a trick play for the Cardinal. The ball was directly snapped to RB Christian McCaffrey who pitched it to Hogan, who was lined up wide. Hogan then set his feet and launched the ball more than 50 yards. Owusu fought off tight coverage from UCLA's Jaleel Wadood but somehow managed to make the touchdown catch.
Kenny Golladay, Northern Illinois - Week 10 vs. Toledo
Of the four catches to reach this point, Golladay's may have been the most clutch. Golladay, a transfer from North Dakota, caught eight passes for 128 yards and made this awesome one-handed touchdown catch to cut then-undefeated Toledo's lead to just two midway through the fourth quarter.
Golladay somehow managed to fend off the Rockets' corner while catching the pass with his right hand and staying in bounds. The catch helped the Huskies pull off the upset. In his first season at NIU, Golladay caught 73 passes for 1,129 yards and 10 touchdowns.
No. 2 Thomas Sperbeck (Boise State) vs. No. 6 Amara Darboh (Michigan)
Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State - Week 8 vs. Wyoming
Thomas Sperbeck had a huge junior season for Boise State, bringing in 88 catches for 1,412 yards and eight touchdowns. He showed his versatility all season long and showed that he is just as capable of a big play as he is hauling in a tough ball in traffic for a first down. And with this grab against Wyoming, he proved that he is one of the more sure-handed wideouts in the Mountain West.
Sperbeck used his wingspan to basically tip this Brett Rypien pass to himself to himself, all with one hand. One of the best parts of the catch was his ability to cradle the ball in his right arm to secure the catch as he hit the turf.
Amara Darboh, Michigan - Week 4 vs. BYU
In Michigan’s Week 4’s blowout win over BYU, Amara Darboh made one of the best catches of the season. The senior faced tight coverage but was able to reach back behind his head and to bring in the Jake Rudock pass with one hand.
He maintained possession all the way to the turf and withstood a tough-looking fall. Darboh has 56 catches for 703 yards and five touchdowns heading into Michigan’s Citrus Bowl game against Florida.
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