Syracuse wide receiver Taj Harris was named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation announced on Thursday. The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation is the creator and sponsor of the Biletnikoff Award, which is given annually to college football's best receiver regardless of position.
Biletnikoff Award semifinalists, finalists and the award winner are selected by the Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee. The committee is comprised of journalists, commentators, announcers, past award winners and other former receivers. Players are typically added to the watch list throughout the regular season.
Harris finished last season with career highs in receptions (58), yards (733) and touchdown catches (5) despite playing in a shortened 10 game season. It was Harris' first as the number one receiver, and he is expected to resume that role in the 2021 campaign.
The junior receiver has a chance to become Syracuse's all-time leading receiver. Taj Harris currently has 135 catches for 1,857 yards and 10 touchdowns during his three seasons with Syracuse. In order to top the career list in each category, Harris would need a 89 receptions for 1,035 yards and 13 touchdowns. All would be career highs.
Last season, Harris had 58 catches for 733 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games. Over 12 games, that would equate to 70 catches for 880 yards and six touchdowns. That season would put Harris third in career receptions with 205 (behind Steve Ishmael and Erv Philips), second in career receiving yards with 2,737 (behind Steve Ishmael) and tied for seventh with 16 career touchdowns. That would still be quite the accomplishment.
Of the three categories, yards seems the most attainable. In order to top the receptions list, Harris would need to increase his catches per game from 5.8 last season to 7.4, or a 27.6% jump. To become the all time leader in receiving yards, Harris would need to improve his yards per game from 73.3 to 86.3, or a 17.7% jump. Harris would have to improve his touchdowns per game from 0.5 to 1.1, or a 120% jump.
Of course with an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19, Harris could elect to return in 2022 and shatter all of those numbers. Even if he does not, a big 2021 season would not only be good for the Orange but also Harris' place in the record books.