The Biletnikoff Award watch list came out and some obvious choices were on the list for the nation's outstanding college football receiver. Standout players included were Robert Woods of the University of Southern California Trojans who is the only returning finalist, Marquess Wilson of Washington State, Da'Rick Rogers of Tennessee, Tavon Austin of West Virginia and Keenan Allen of California - all are clearly on the watch list (49 in all).
But who's not on the list originally is what's surprising. Marqise Lee of USC, who may have been the most dynamic player in college football at the end of 2011, was left off the list. Some have listed Lee as All-Pac-12 - so omitting him must have been a mistake. Yes, he's only a sophomore but that didn't keep the Tallahassee Quarterback Club, who operates the award, from listing Woods last year when he was only a sophomore.
The Biletnikoff Watch List has added a name: Marqise Lee. Personally, I had written an entire article about the omission but minutes before it was to publish yesterday, the announcement came that Lee was added (source - ESPN). Why the oversight or error isn't known.
Whatever the reasons for initially passing over and excluding someone of Lee's incredible skills and capabilities is astonishing. But the foundation did add him to the list after the incredulous omission. It was hard to believe he could have entered this season with anymore momentum and stats to back it up - than what Lee did towards the end of last year. All you needed to watch was some of USC's games, especially at the end of the season, to see just what they missed … or almost missed.
I will have to mention one other name mysteriously not on the list and that's Sammy Watkins of Clemson. Watkins absence is odd, considering he's on some preseason All-American lists. I'm guessing the reason for keeping him off the list was Watkins' arrest a couple months ago on drug charges (source - USA Today).
Along with Lee, Woods, Wilson and Allen, other Pac-12 Conference receivers to make the list were: Dan Buckner of Arizona, DeVonte Christopher of Utah and Markus Wheaton of Oregon State. Interesting, that some lament the Pac-12 as being all offense no defense but when it's time for offensive awards, the conference's many skill players are snubbed, while defensive-minded conferences like the SEC have 10 nominees.
The award is named after Fred Biletnikoff who was an amazing receiver and All-American for Florida State and later All-Pro for the Oakland Raiders. He is in both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Fred Biletnikoff Award was won the past two seasons by Oklahoma State great Justin Blackmon.
Voters of this award are mostly made up of college football writers, broadcasters and commentators along with past winners and a handful of receiving greats of the past.
Sources - Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, University of Southern California
Daryle lived in Los Angeles Ca. most of his life and has been a longtime fan of USC and the Pac-12, having closely followed the Trojans since he was just a youngster. Fight On!
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