Eric Ward, Texas Tech's top returning receiver from 2012, has been named to the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, which honors the nation's top wide receiver.
Ward, a senior from Wichita Falls, earns a spot on the preseason list for the second consecutive year and continues a streak of six straight years that a Tech wide receiver has been honored.
The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc. will announce the ten Biletnikoff Award semifinalists on November 18, 2013, following the vote by the Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee. Likewise, the three finalists will be declared, following another vote, on November 25, 2013. The 2013 Biletnikoff Award winner will be presented live on December 12, 2013, on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show to be broadcast from 7:00 - 9:00pm on ESPN.
Ward is one of 76 wide receivers across the country to be honored by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation and one of nine from the Big 12 Conference.
Tech's top returning receiver in 2012, Ward compiled 1,053 receiving yards on 82 catches along with 12 touchdowns. He averaged 12.8 yards per catch and 87.8 yards per game. Following the 2012 season, he earned number All-Big 12 accolades and finished eighth nationally in touchdown receptions.
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-Pro receiver with the Oakland Raiders and an All-America receiver at Florida State University. 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, Inc. created the Biletnikoff Award in 1994. Seventeen college receivers have won the award, including Marqise Lee, Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, Michael Crabtree, and Larry Fitzgerald. Foundation Selection Committee Co-Chairman and Founding Trustee Walter Manley, II, noted, "The 2013 Biletnikoff Award Pre-season Watch List contains one of the most talented fields in the award's history, consistent with the escalating importance of the passing game in college football." Selection Committee Co-Chairman Mark Haney, who has helped comprise pre-season watch lists for over a decade, commented: "Receiver has become the glamour position in college offenses; the great athletes are gravitating to receiver which means the ranks of excellent college receivers continue to grow."