Dutch Fork grad added to Biletnikoff Award watch list

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — After a legendary, record-setting performance against third-ranked Alabama, Tennessee junior wide receiver Jalin Hyatt has been added to the 2022 Biletnikoff Award Watch List by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation.

The Biletnikoff Award annually recognizes the college football season’s outstanding FBS receiver. Any player, regardless of position (wide receiver, tight end, slot back, and running back) who catches a pass is eligible for the award. As such, the Biletnikoff Award recognizes college football’s outstanding receiver, not merely college football’s outstanding wide receiver.

In the midst of a career campaign, Hyatt leads the nation with 10 receiving touchdowns and ranks atop the SEC in receiving yards (595), receiving yards per game (99.2) and receptions per game (5.5) through the first seven weeks of the season. His explosive play has been on display throughout the fall as he leads the nation with six 40-plus yard receiving plays.

Hyatt delivered arguably the greatest wide receiver performance in school history against the Crimson Tide on Saturday, catching six passes for 207 yards and a school-record and SEC-record tying five receiving touchdowns. He became the fifth player in SEC history to catch five touchdowns in a single game, and his 207 receiving yards ranked sixth in Vol single-game history.

The Irmo, South Carolina, native also tied the program single-game record for points by touchdown with 30, a mark that evened with Gene McEver who had five rushing scores against South Carolina on Dec. 7, 1929. Hyatt was also the first FBS player with five or more receiving touchdowns against an AP top-five team since NC State’s Torry Holt did so at No. 3 Florida State on Nov. 8, 1997.

For his efforts against the Tide, Hyatt was tabbed National Player of the Week by the Maxwell Football Club and Walter Camp Football Foundation. He also picked up SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career.

In addition to his monster outing against Alabama, Hyatt turned in his first career game with double-digit receptions (11 for 73 yards) at No. 17 Pittsburgh on Sept. 10 before recording his first career 100-yard receiving performance against Akron the following week, catching five passes for 166 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Zips. He was also crucial in Tennessee’s 40-13 triumph at No. 25 LSU, pulling in four catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns inside Tiger Stadium on Oct. 8.

Hyatt joins teammate Cedric Tillman on the 2022 Biletnikoff Award Watch List, who was recognized on the initial preseason list in July.

The Biletnikoff Award semifinalists, finalists, and recipient are selected by the highly distinguished Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee, a group of 640 prominent college football journalists, commentators, announcers, Biletnikoff Award winners, and other former receivers. The 2022 Biletnikoff Award winner will be presented the Biletnikoff Award trophy by TQC Foundation Chairman Mark Ryan and the banquet keynote speaker at the black-tie Biletnikoff Award Banquet & Celebration at the Dunlap Champions Club, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

Three former Vols have been tabbed as a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award: Joey Kent (1996), Kelley Washington (2001) and Robert Meachem (2006).

Off to a 6-0 start for the first time since the 1998 national championship season, the No. 3/4 Tennessee Volunteers return to action Saturday inside Neyland Stadium. Homecoming week has arrived as the Vols are slated to host in-state, inter-system foe UT Martin at noon ET on SEC Network.

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