Winslow Biletnikoff Semi-Finalist

University of Miami junior tight end Kellen Winslow is among 10 semi-finalists for the 2003 Biletnikoff Award honoring college football's top receiver, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation announced late Thursday. Winslow is the only tight end listed among the finalists for the honor, which has been selected every year since 1994. No tight end has ever won the Biletnikoff Award.

Winslow (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch HS) leads the Hurricanes in receiving with 36 catches for 391 yards and a touchdown this season. But stats alone do not describe Winslow's importance to the Hurricanes. He has excelled as both a blocker and a team leader, coming into his own as a mature leader for the Hurricanes as he has helped will the team to victory in a couple of close games. Winslow has been a driving force on the Hurricanes' offense during Miami's 7-0 start, making several crucial catches in close games. He has been particularly effective in recent weeks, catching 21 passes for 253 yards in wins over West Virginia, fifth-ranked Florida State and Temple. Winslow recorded 100-yards receiving for two consecutive weeks for the first time in his career against WVU and FSU.

Winslow's 18-yard reception on fourth-and-13 against West Virginia kept the Hurricanes' game-winning drive alive. Winslow now has 36 catches for 391 yards on the season with a 10.9 yards per catch average. He ranks 56th nationally in receptions per game with 5.14 and third among tight ends. Winslow's numbers from the tight end position are comparable to the top wide receivers in the nation.

The other finalists for the award, named after former Florida State and Oakland Raider great Fred Biletnikoff, are Pittsburgh's Larry Fitzgerald, Oklahoma State's Rashaun Woods, Southern Cal's Mike Williams, Washington's Reggie Williams, Texas' Roy Williams, Oklahoma's Mark Clayton, LSU's Michael Clayton, North Carolina State's Jerricho Cotchery and Florida State's Craphonso Thorpe.

A panel of writers and broadcasters and a handful of former receivers, including Biletnikoff, make up the panel selected by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, which sponsors the award. The 2003 Biletnikoff Award winner will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show to be held Thursday, December 11, 2003 in Orlando. The winner will be honored at a banquet in Tallahassee in February.

The 10 semi-finalists (in alphabetical order) for the 2003 Biletnikoff Award:

Mark Clayton - WR - Oklahoma
Michael Clayton - WR - LSU
Jerricho Cotchery - WR - North Carolina State
Larry Fitzgerald - WR - Pittsburgh
Craphonso Thorpe - WR - Florida State
Mike Williams - WR - USC
Reggie Williams - WR - Washington
Roy Williams - WR - Texas
Kellen Winslow - TE - Miami
Rashaun Woods - WR - Oklahoma State

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