Tennessee Wide Receiver Jalin Hyatt Wins Biletnikoff Award over Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr.

By Dan Hope on December 8, 2022 at 8:02 pm
Jalin Hyatt
Randy Sartin – USA TODAY Sports

Many college football watchers considered Marvin Harrison Jr. to be the best wide receiver in the country this year, but Biletnikoff Award voters disagreed.

Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt was named Thursday as the winner of this year’s Biletnikoff Award, which honors college football’s best pass-catcher. He won the award over Harrison and Iowa State’s Xavier Hutchinson, who was also a finalist.

Harrison has had a spectacular sophomore season for Ohio State, earning the highest Pro Football Focus grade (90.2) of any wide receiver in college football this season. In 12 regular-season games, Harrison caught 72 passes for 1,157 yards and 12 touchdowns – all numbers that rank within the top six for a single season in Ohio State history with at least one more game still to go.

No wide receiver in college football has made more spectacular catches this season than Harrison, who routinely made jaw-dropping plays throughout the year – like the catch below that ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit selected Thursday night as college football’s catch of the year –that have scouts talking about Harrison as a future early first-round NFL draft pick even though he won’t be draft-eligible for another year.

That said, Hyatt has put up even bigger numbers this season, catching 67 passes for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns – tied for the most in the FBS – highlighted by a 207-yard, five-touchdown performance in Tennessee’s 52-49 win over Alabama. That ultimately propelled him to win this year’s Biletnikoff Award, becoming the fourth SEC receiver in the past five years to take home the trophy.

A Big Ten receiver hasn’t won the Biletnikoff since Braylon Edwards in 2004, and Terry Glenn (1995) remains the only Ohio State receiver ever to win the award – though Harrison will have another chance to make a Biletnikoff run next year.

No Ohio State players won individual awards during Thursday night’s ESPN College Football Awards show. C.J. Stroud was a finalist for the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year and Davey O’Brien Award, but USC quarterback Caleb Williams won the Maxwell and Walter Camp awards while TCU quarterback Max Duggan won the Davey O’Brien Award.

Harrison was also omitted from the top 10 vote-getters in this year’s Heisman Trophy race, which were revealed during an ESPN special following Thursday night’s awards show – though neither Hyatt nor any other receiver made the top 10 either, as all of the top 10 were either quarterbacks or running backs.

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