TALLAHASSE, Fla. (WNCT) – East Carolina senior wide receiver Zay Jones has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2016 Biletnikoff Award the Tallahassee Quarterback Club (TQC) Foundation, Inc. announced Monday morning. The Biletnikoff Award annually recognizes the outstanding receiver in college football, not merely the outstanding wide receiver.
This season, Jones currently leads the NCAA FBS in four categories: receptions (139), receiving yards (1,473), receptions per game (13.9) and receiving yards per game (147.3). He stands fifth on the NCAA FBS single-season receptions chart and needs 17 catches over the next two games to pass current record-holder Freddie Barnes (155/Bowling Green/2009). Against Tulsa, Jones set an ECU and American Athletic Conference single-season reception standard to eclipse former teammate Justin Hardy’s mark of 121 set in 2014.
In 10 games, he has caught a career-best six touchdown passes and registered eight double-triples (catches-yards), which includes a career-high 22 receptions for 190 yards at South Carolina on Sept. 17. His 22 grabs against the Gamecocks are the most by an NCAA FBS receiver in a game this season and was one shy of an all-time NCAA FBS record.
On Nov. 7, Jones was formally recognized as a Heisman Trophy candidate by the Heisman Trophy Trust, while being selected as a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy and Senior CLASS Award on Nov. 3.
A two-year team captain, Jones already ranks second in NCAA FBS history with 380 career receptions (seven behind all-time leader Justin Hardy/387) and second in Pirates’ history with 4,006 yards. His 21 career receiving touchdowns are tied for third at East Carolina, he has hauled down at least one pass in 47 of 48 career games and with his 39-yard catch in the first quarter against SMU last week, he extended his streak with at least one reception to 45-straight games.
The 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner will be presented live on Dec. 8 on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show (7-9 p.m. on ESPN). College Football Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard will present the 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner on the show. Howard is one of only five ends or receivers who has won the Heisman Trophy, joining Larry Kelley, Leon Hart, Johnny Rodgers, and Tim Brown.