Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt has been tabbed as a finalist for the prestigious Biletnikoff award. Hyatt becomes the first Volunteer to be named as a finalist for the award, meaning he could also be Tennessee's first recipient. Hyatt is a finalist alongside Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr. and Iowa State's Xavier Hutchinson.
Ahead of the award being announced on December 8th, we compare Hyatt to the other finalists.
Marvin Harrison: 72 Rec, 1,157 Yds, 12 TDs, 16.1 Avg
Xavier Hutchinson: 107 Rec, 1,171 Yds, 6 TDs, 10.9 Avg
Jalin Hyatt: 67 Rec, 1,267 Yds, 15 TDs, 18.9 Avg
Advantage Hyatt: Hyatt leads three of the four statistical categories here, including the key determiners, in my opinion, yards, and touchdowns. He was as explosive as any player in the country this season, not just the receiver position. While Hyatt doesn't have the largest amount of receptions, he also has the most crowded supporting cast around him. Tennessee has five other receivers that have over 20 catches, as opposed to Ohio State with three and Iowa State with two.
Marvin Harrison (Arkansas State): 7 Rec, 184 yards, 3 TD, 26.3 Avg
Xavier Hutchinson (Southeast Missouri State): 8 Rec, 128 Yds, 3 TDs, 16.0 Avg
Jalin Hyatt (Alabama): 6 Rec, 207 Yds, 5 TDs, 34.5 Avg
Advantage Hyatt: Hyatt delivered when the eyes of the college football world were upon Knoxville. He torched an Alabama secondary that is stacked with future NFL talent. Harrison and Hutchinson both had other big game's against solid opponents, but neither had a game against a quality opponent like Hyatt did. Harrison's best statistical game against a quality opponent was 7 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown against Michigan, while Hutchinson's biggest game against a quality opponent was 10 catches for 154 yards against Texas.
Marvin Harrison (Rutgers): 3 Rec, 18 yards, 1 TD, 6.0 Avg
Xavier Hutchinson (TCU): 2 Rec, 11 Yds, 0 TDs, 5.5 Avg
Jalin Hyatt (Ball State): 2 Rec, 28 Yds, 1 TDs, 14.0 Avg
Advantage Harrison/Hyatt: Could go either way here, as they are statistically very much the same performance. However, Hyatt's worst game came in the season's first game against a non-conference opponent. Hyatt opened the contest with a score, and the Vols did not utilize him the entire game. Harrison did not have to be utilized as much either in the blowout win.
Hutchinson's receptions are certainly a wow factor, as he is highly important to his team, but he lacks in the other categories, including team success, which shouldn't be, but is almost always a factor in this race. Harrison and Hyatt both exploded onto the scene with similar circumstances. Both were expected to be the number two guy at the position for their offense. However, with both Cedric Tillman and Jaxon Smith-Njigba going down for a large portion of the season, these two flourished when the opportunity presented itself. Hyatt and Harrison both had massive games at times and delivered at some of the most significant times this season. Hyatt's top performance against Alabama will undoubtedly be in the mind of the voters. At the same time, Harrison, being the son of a legendary receiver and playing on a national favorite like Ohio State, will linger in thought and help his impressive resume. Hyatt should win this award, but in the end, it is a two-man race, with Harrison being the biggest competition, in my opinion.