NCAA Football

Brock Bowers was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award

Brock Bowers was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award

Brock Bowers has done everything for Georgia this season, so if the sophomore gets snubbed for the John Mackie Award as college football’s best tight end for the second year in a row, he might be able to steal honors from a few other positions. A week after being named a finalist for the Lombardi Award, given to the nation’s top college linebacker, Bowers was named one of 12 semifinalists for the Biletnikov Award, given to the nation’s top receiver.

The Biletnikoff Award “recognizes the most outstanding receiver of the college football season, regardless of position. Any player, regardless of position (wide receiver, tight end, split end, inside receiver, slotback or running back) who catches a pass is eligible for the So the Biletnikoff Award recognizes an outstanding receiver, not just an outstanding wide receiver.” The winner is chosen by The Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee, a group that includes college football journalists, commentators and former receivers.

In the 25-year history of the Biletnikoff Award, no player has won the award in Georgia. No tight end has ever won the award, and only one tight end, Florida’s Kyle Pitts in 2020, has been a finalist for the award. The 2021 Biletnikoff Award winners will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday, December 8. Bowers is an Athlon Sports and Walter Camp preseason first-team All-American selection and a Sporting News second-team All-American selection.

In 11 starts this season, Bowers has 41 catches for a team-leading 625 yards and four touchdowns, along with four carries for 89 yards and three touchdowns. He ranks third among FBS tight ends in receiving yards, fourth in receiving yards and tied for second among tight ends in receiving touchdowns. Bowers was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week twice this season and was named SEC Freshman of the Week twice in 2021.

In 2021, when Bowers was denied the McKee Award, he was named to the Associated Press All-America Second Team, USA Today and ESPN All-America First Team, SEC Coaches Freshman of the Year, AP SEC Rookie of the Year, Freshman of the Year Shaun Alexander and the 247Sports Freshman of the Year. Playing in all 15 games and making 13 starts, he had 56 catches for 882 yards and 13 touchdowns, all single-season program records for a tight end, with the 13 touchdown catches also being a program record for any pass catcher. His 10 receptions in the SEC Championship Game tied the record for most by a tight end in that game. He also had four carries for 56 yards and a touchdown.

“The tight end position developed in the NFL, so it transitioned into high school and college offenses,” Kirby Smart said of Bowers in September. “But really the point is, who is this guy, right? It’s not like everyone wants to just say, “well, tight ends are used more.” Well, if you have a tight end who runs the 4.5 (40-Yard), then you know that he is a viable option. It’s a threat in the passing game. If he’s physical and strong enough to block and block on the perimeter, you give me any player that’s 235 pounds and can run 4.5′ s we’ll find a way to use him. I think a lot of that has to do with his (Bowers’) skill set.”

The John Mackey Award will be presented Dec. 8 at the Home Depot College Football Awards show on ESPN.

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