Nov. 17, 2006
Jarett Dillard, who has re-written the Rice receiving record book while sparking the Owls into contention for a bowl bid, has been named as one of three finalists for the 13th Biletnikoff Award, which is presented annually by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation.
Dillard joins Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech and Jeff Samardzija of Notre Dame as finalists for the award.
The winner of the award will be announced on Thursday, December 7 as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN. The actual trophy presentation will be made at the annual Biletnikoff Award Dinner, which will be held on February 7 in Tallahassee, FL.
A sophomore from San Antonio, Dillard was hardly a major factor in any pre-season speculation for all conference honors, much less consideration for the Biletnikoff Award, but he has teamed with fellow San Antonio sophomore quarterback Chase Clement to prosper in the Owls new offensive scheme.
He heads into Saturday's homecoming meeting with East Carolina with a streak of catching a touchdown pass in 12 consecutive games. His streak is the longest active streak in the nation and matches the third longest streak in NCAA history. He leads the nation with 16 TD catches this year, setting school and Conference USA records in the process. He is fifth in the nation (second in C-USA) with 7.10 catches per game and ninth overall (third in the conference) with 95.8 yards per game. In addition to his record for TD catches, Dillard has also set an Owl mark for yards in a season (958) and tied the school mark for touchdowns.
Rice has gone 5-1 in its last six games, and during that stretch, Dillard has scored 12 touchdowns while catching 44 passes for 608 yards. He has tied the school record by catching three TDs in a game three times this season and he has topped 100 yards in receiving five times to set another mark.
He now has caught 21 touchdowns in his 21-game career (also a school record) and has caught at least two passes in each game of his career.
Founded in 1994 and administered by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, the Biletnikoff Award was created to recognize the unique talents and skills required of pass receivers. It was named for former Florida State and Oakland Raiders star wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff, a member of the both the college and professional football Halls of Fame. Funds generated through support of the award and its presentation dinner are used to generate generous college scholarships to local high school students who have overcome significant emotional, physical, and environmental barriers.