PRESS RELEASE FROM SOUTHERN MISS:
Southern Miss senior wide receiver D.J. Thompson has earned Biletnikoff Award watch list recognition for the coming season.
Thompson has vastly improved his receiving totals each season. The Pearl native is the Golden Eagles’ top returning threat from 2015 (55 catches, 779 yards, six touchdowns). Thompson had 22 grabs for 231 yards as a sophomore in 2014 and seven catches in 2012 (missed 2013 season due to injury).
He boasted a 10-catch, 112-yard outing with two scores in Southern Miss’ 34-13 win over UTEP and had receptions of 28 and 50 yards at Nebraska.
Current Los Angeles Ram Mike Thomas jumped into the midseason Biletnikoff watch list on October 28, 2015.
The Golden Eagles begin their season with a 6:30 p.m. contest at Kentucky on Sept. 3.
The 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner will be presented live on December 8, 2016, on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show to be broadcast 7:00 - 9:00pm (EST) 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 5 ends or receivers who has won the Heisman Trophy, joining Larry Kelley, Leon Hart, Johnny Rodgers, and Tim Brown.
The 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner will also be presented his trophy before 550 patrons at the Biletnikoff Award Banquet at the University Center Club at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee on Saturday, February 18, 2017. The banquet was hailed by 2014 keynote speaker Dick Vermeil, as well as by 2013 keynoter Larry Csonka, as "the best banquet in college sports."
The banquet also recognizes the Foundation's scholarship recipients who will be offered by the Foundation over $800,000 in college and vocational scholarships and related benefits in 2017 alone, as in 2015 and 2016. The Foundation's charitable mission is the provision of college and vocational scholarships to North Florida high school seniors who have overcome significant barriers to achieve at the highest academic and extra-curricular levels.
The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc., will announce the ten Biletnikoff Award semifinalists on November 14, 2016, following the vote by the members of the Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee. Likewise, the three finalists will be declared, following another vote, on November 22, 2016.
The name Biletnikoff is synonymous with the term receiver. Fred Biletnikoff, a member of the pro and college football halls of fame, was an All-America receiver at Florida State University, and an All-Pro receiver for the Oakland Raiders. He caught 589 passes for 8,974 yards and 76 touchdowns in his 14-year Raiders career from 1965 through 1978. Fred was the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XI. The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation (TQC), Inc., created the Biletnikoff Award in 1994.
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