White, Lambert named award finalists

The 24 finalists for the nine National College Football Awards Association awards given annually each year were announced Tuesday, and two Mountaineers made the cut.

Senior wide receiver Kevin White and sophomore kicker Josh Lambert were named finalists for the Biletnikoff and Lou Groza awards, respectively.

White, who heads into West Virginia's final regular season game of the year with 98 catches for 1,270 yards and nine touchdowns, joins Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper and Colorado State's Rashard Higgins as a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award - an honor given each year to the nation's most outstanding receiver. The WVU senior is third in the country in receptions, fourth in yards and is tied for 12th in touchdown catches.

“This is truly a dream come true for me,” White said in a release from WVU. “Just being named a finalist for this award is an honor. I am very thankful for the opportunity that has been given to me this season. I would like to thank the coaching staff, and Clint Trickett, for giving me the opportunity and putting me in the position to have such a great season. I specifically want to thank Coach Holgorsen and Coach Galloway for making me work hard, their constant encouragement and for making me into the player that I’ve become this year.”

The 6-foot-3 Plainfield, N.J., native has been at WVU for two seasons since transferring to West Virginia from Lackawanna College and, even though he'll only play two seasons in a Mountaineer uniform, White will likely go down as one of the greatest receivers in school history.

He's WVU's second Biletnikoff finalist in three years.

“Kevin White emerged on the scene this year and showed what a talented performer he can be. His improvement from last year shows what a great competitor he is," said head coach Dana Holgorsen. "I still believe his best football is ahead and congratulate him on his hard work toward being named a finalist for the Biletnikoff award.”

Lambert joins Maryland junior Brad Craddock and Florida State sophomore Roberto Aguayo as finalists for the Lou Groza Award, given each year to the best place kicker in college football. Lambert has been a steady force for WVU this season, kicking two game-winning field goals.

“We all know what contributions Josh has made to our team this year. His big kicks at Maryland and Texas Tech showed what he can do in pressure situations," Holgorsen said. "With his four field goals of more than 50 yards and his overall numbers, being named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award certainly is fitting for the kind of year he is having.”

Those four field goals from more than 50 yards out are more than any other kicker in college football, and Lambert also leads the country in most field goals made and attempted. Thirteen of the redshirt sophomore's 24 made field goals have been at least 40-yard tries.

“I am extremely honored to be named a finalist for such a prestigious award,” Lambert said. “There have been a great tradition of Groza finalists who have had outstanding college careers and has gone on to have great NFL careers. I want to thank my coaches, Coach Holgorsen and Coach DeForest, and my teammates, especially Michael Molinari and John DePalma, because none of this would be possible without them.”

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