TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (ECU Media Relations) – For the second-straight year, East Carolina’s Zay Jones has been named to the Biletnikoff Award Preaseason Watch List, according to an announcement by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club (TQC) Foundation, Inc., Wednesday.
Since 2006, ECU receivers have been included on the Biletnikoff Award Watch List on eight occasions. Jones’ pair of selections follows Justin Hardy (2012, 2013, 2014), Lance Lewis (2011), Dwayne Harris (2010) and Aundrae Allison (2006).
The Biletnikoff Award annually recognizes the outstanding receiver, not merely a wide receiver and the award recipient is selected by the highly distinguished Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee, a group of over 200 prominent college football journalists, commentators and former receivers. Receivers may be added to the watch list as their season performances dictate. Ten semifinalists will be announced November 14 before three finalists are declared November 22.
As a junior in 2015, Jones became the eighth Pirate in school history to eclipse the single-season 1,000 receiving yards milestone and came just two receptions away from becoming only the fourth player to reach a triple-digit catch total after grabbing 98 passes for 1,099 yards. The All-American Athletic Conference choice led the league and stood fourth nationally in receptions per game (8.2). He also ranked among the FBS level’s Top 25 in receiving yards per game (18th/91.6) and overall receiving yards (25th).
Jones will open the 2016 campaign in third place on ECU’s career receptions (241) and reception yards (2,533) lists, trailing only Hardy and Harris. He’s caught multiple passes in 37 of 38 contests, posted double-digit reception figures eight times and booked 100 or more receiving yards in a game on 10 occasions.
Jones, who also owns 15 career touchdown grabs, will enter the season opener against Western Carolina on Sept. 3 with an active streak of at least one reception in 35-straight contests. He needs just 28 catches to pass Harris (268) and move into second place on East Carolina’s all-time receptions ledger.
So far this season, three Pirates have been named to a preseason watch lists: Worth Gregory (Ray Guy Award), J.T. Boyd (Outland Trophy) and Jones (Biletnikoff Award).
The Biletnikoff Award winner will be announced as part of ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 8 with the award presentation to follow on February 18, 2017 at the University Center Club inside Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee on February 18, 2017.