2015 Preseason Award Projections: Biletnikoff Award

By Charlie Campbell
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Heading into the 2015 college football season, WalterFootball.com will debut our projections for the nation’s leaders during the fall. The All-American teams always have some surprises, and the next fall’s stars could be the headline players next May for the 2016 NFL Draft. We also will project the winners of the postseason awards that are given out to the best of college football.

The Biletnikoff Award is given to top the wide receiver in college football. Last year’s winner was Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Biletnikoff Award Winner:

Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh

Boyd could easily be the top wide receiver in college football in 2015. He is a dynamic receiver who has size, speed and tremendous run-after-the-catch skills. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder has been impressive against good secondaries and cornerbacks who are early-round NFL prospects. In 2014, Boyd notched 78 receptions for 1,126 yards and eight touchdowns.

Boyd runs good routes, is very physical, has reliable hands, tracks the bell extremely well, makes acrobatic catches and outfights defensive backs for 50-50 balls. Playing in the ACC, he should only see a couple of tough secondaries. Boyd has a running game with powerful James Conner to help keep safeties honest and returns his starting quarterback last year, Chad Voytik. Boyd should be poised for a massive season, and to me, he is the heavy favorite to win the Biletnikoff Award.

Biletnikoff Runner-Up:

Laquan Treadwell, Ole Miss

If Treadwell wasn’t coming off a broken fibula and dislocated his ankle, he probably would be picked for the top spot. Sources from the NFL say that Treadwell’s talent was impossible not to notice when scouting Ole Miss. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder had 48 receptions for 632 yards and five touchdowns in nine games last season before the injury. Ole Miss will break in a new quarterback this year, but Bo Wallace was nothing special, so that should be a detriment for Treadwell. If healthy, Treadwell could be the best receiver in college football.

Biletnikoff Dark Horse:

Mike Williams, Clemson

It wouldn’t surprise me at all, if looking back on this, that I have Williams too low and he ends up the winner or the runner-up. Williams plays in a powerful offense with a talented young quarterback in Deshaun Watson. Williams caught 57 passes for 1,030 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore. He has a nice combination of size and speed with the ability to make plays vertically. The junior could produce a huge 2015 season for the Tigers. It was clear in 2014 that he and Watson have a ton of upside, and they could produce a huge year going against some weak ACC defenses.

Honorable Mentions: Auburn’s Duke Williams, TCU’s Josh Doctson, Florida’s Demarcus Robinson, Baylor’s Corey Coleman, Ole Miss’ Laquan Treadwell, Miami’s Stacy Coley, Georgia’s Malcolm Mitchell, Tennessee’s MarQuez North, Oregon’s Bralon Addison, Georgia’s Malcolm Mitchell, South Carolina’s Pharaoh Cooper, Notre Dame’s Corey Robinson, Stanford’s Devon Cajuste, Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins, Arizona’s Cayleb Jones, Ohio State’s Michael Thomas, Oklahoma’s Sterling Shepard and Colorado’s Nelson Spruce.

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