Any player, regardless of position, who catches a pass is eligible for the award. This year's 10 semifinalists were chosen by the Biletnikoff Award's national selection committee, which will also help determine the three finalists and the winner.
Westbrook, a senior from Cameron, Texas, is having one of the best receiving seasons in Big 12 history. He leads all Power Five players in receiving yards per game (125.4), while ranking second in receiving touchdowns (14) and seventh in receptions per game (6.8).
Westbrook, who battled a hamstring injury during OU's first three games when he averaged 51.3 receiving yards per contest and did not score a touchdown, has exploded in seven games since. During that span, Westbrook has amassed 51 catches for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also returned a punt 71 yards for a score. The 1,100 yards are the most ever by a Sooner in a seven-game stretch (next highest total is 911 by Sterling Shepard last year), as are the 14 receiving TDs. He needs one more receiving TD to tie the OU single-season record.
Not only does Westbrook have the most receiving yards in the country since Oct. 1, no player is within 185 yards of him.
His 14 receiving scores have come, in order, from 67, 40, 71, 42, 47, 26, 8, 88, 49, 23, 41, 65, 29 and 40 yards, for an average of 45.4 yards. The 14 TD catches over the last seven games are more than 44 teams (21 Power Five squads) have on the season. Only 10 teams have more receptions of at least 60 yards this year than Westbrook's four.
Westbrook has already doubled the Oklahoma single-season record for touchdowns from scrimmage (rushing or receiving) of at least 40 yards. The former record of five was set by Tommy McDonald in 1956 and matched by Marcus Dupree in 1982. Westbrook has 10 touchdowns from scrimmage of 40-plus yards this year.
Only two FBS players have more receiving TDs this season than Westbrook's 14 in the last seven games, and only eight FBS players have more receiving yards on the year than Westbrook has in the past seven outings. Westbrook has more receiving yards this season (1,254) than Army, Kent State, Navy, New Mexico each do.
In Big 12 play, Westbrook ranks first in the conference in receptions (7.3 per game), receiving yards (157.1 per game), points (13.1 per game) and all-purpose yards (207.7 per game). His 157.1 receiving yards per Big 12 game are 53 more than the next closest player (Oklahoma State's James Washington; 104.7).
Westbrook's 1,997 career receiving yards are the most ever by an OU player in their first 23 games. The second-year Sooner already ranks eighth in school history in receiving yards (needs 12 to tie Antwone Savage [1999-02] for seventh).
The 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner will be presented live by 1991 Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard on Dec. 8 on ESPN's “The Home Depot College Awards” show, which will air at 6 p.m. CT from at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Ga.
FanVote and FanForum
The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation has opened the 2016 FanVote and FanForum. Every fan may vote once daily on the Biletnikoff Award FanVote page. The aggregate fan tally will be counted as one official vote to determine the three finalists and the winner.
2016 Biletnikoff Award Semifinalists
Austin Carr, WR, Northwestern
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Amba Etta-Tawo, WR, Syracuse
Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech
Isaiah "Zay" Jones, WR, East Carolina
John Ross, WR, Washington
Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky
Trent Taylor, WR, Louisiana Tech
James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
/// SoonerSports PR
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