Illini receiver A.J. Jenkins has been named a semifinalist for the 2011 Biletnikoff Award.
Nov. 14, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois senior receiver A.J. Jenkins has been named a semifinalist for the 2011 Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation's top receiver, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc., announced Monday. Jenkins leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth in the nation with 1,133 receiving yards.
Jenkins leads the Big Ten in receiving yards per game (113.3) and receptions per game (7.6), marks that rank eighth and 11th in the nation, respectively. He also is averaging 128.0 yards per game in conference play, over 15 yards per game better than his closest competition. Jenkins has accounted for 56.3 percent of Illinois' receiving yards this season, by far the highest percentage in the nation, and he has accounted for 49.7 percent of quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase's completions, the second-highest ratio in the country.
A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Jenkins is challenging a number of school records that have stood for over 25 years, as he is within 146 yards of breaking David Williams' single-season record of 1,278 yards that was set in 1984. He also ranks third in career touchdown receptions (18), fourth in season receptions (76), season 100-yard games (5) and career 100-yard games (8), fifth in career receiving yardage (2,289) and sixth in career receptions (153).
Jenkins broke Illinois' single-game receiving record with 268 yards on 12 catches against Northwestern on Oct. 1 and followed that up with 182 yards at Indiana the next week, breaking the Big Ten record for most receiving yards in consecutive games. He has four scoring plays of 50 yards or more this year, tied for fifth-most in the nation, and his 17 scrimmage plays of 20-plus yards rank sixth nationally.
Jenkins and Scheelhaase are the most prolific receiver-quarterback combination in the Big Ten over the past two seasons as well, with 124 connections. Jenkins also has made at least one catch in 28 consecutive games.
Finalists for the Biletnikoff Award will be announced on Monday, Nov. 21, with the winner being announced on the Home Depot College Football Awards show on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.
2011 Biletnikoff Award Semifinalists
Keenan Allen, California
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
Patrick Edwards, Houston
Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
A.J. Jenkins, Illinois
Sammy Watkins, Clemson
Jordan White, Western Michigan
Robert Woods, USC
Kendall Wright, Baylor