NCAA Football: WKU at Rice 111321

Western Kentucky receiver Jerreth Sterns makes a diving catch Saturday during the Tops’ 42-21 win against Rice at Rice Stadium in Houston.

Western Kentucky wide receiver Jerreth Sterns has been voted a semifinalist for the 2021 Biletnikoff Award, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation announced Monday.

The annual award recognizes the season’s most outstanding FBS receiver in college football.

Sterns is the first Hilltopper to be recognized as a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist since Taywan Taylor in 2015 and 2016.

The Waxahachie, Texas, native is one of 10 semifinalists, and the only Conference USA player on the list. He is one of two Group of Five receivers, along with Utah State’s Deven Thompkins.

Over 10 games, Sterns has accounted for 111 receptions for 1,368 yards and 11 touchdowns, leading the Hilltoppers in all three categories. Sterns’ 111 catches lead the next-closest FBS receiver by 23 (USC’s Drake London has 88), his 1,368 receiving yards rank second in FBS to Thompkins (1,441) and his 11 touchdowns are tied for the FBS lead with four other receivers.

Sterns has at least seven catches in all 10 games, and double-digit receptions in six contests. He has at least 82 receiving yards in all 10 games, and seven 100-yard performances. His six double-digit reception games leads FBS, while his seven 100-yard efforts are tied for second.

With 331 career catches in 37 games played, Sterns is college football’s active leader with 8.95 receptions per game. He also has 3,329 career receiving yards and 29 touchdowns, including seven multi-score games. In those 37 contests, he has 15 100-yard receiving efforts and 16 double-digit reception performances.

Votes from more than 600 members of the Biletnikoff Award national selection committee were tallied over the past week. The other nine semifinalists for 2021 are Pitt’s Jordan Allison, Purdue’s David Bell, Penn State’s Jahan Dotson, North Carolina’s Josh Downs, USC’s Drake London, Ohio State’s Chris Olave, Wake Forest’s A.T. Perry and Alabama’s Jameson Williams.

The name Biletnikoff is synonymous with the term receiver. Fred Biletnikoff, a member of the pro and college football halls of fame, was a consensus All-America receiver at Florida State 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. Biletnikoff was the most valuable player of Super Bowl XI.

The 2021 Biletnikoff Award will be presented March 5.