LSU Gold

Nabers, Thomas Among 10 Biletnikoff Award Semifinalists

by Michael Bonnette
Nabers, Thomas Among 10 Biletnikoff Award Semifinalists

BATON ROUGE – LSU’s Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. – the nation’s top wide receiver tandem – have been named among the 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation announced on Monday.

The Biletnikoff Award annually recognizes the college football season’s outstanding FBS receiver. Any player, regardless of position (wide receiver, tight end, slot back, and running back) who catches a pass is eligible for the award. As such, the Biletnikoff Award recognizes college football’s outstanding receiver, not merely college football’s outstanding wide receiver.

LSU has two Biletnikoff Award winners in its history – Josh Reed in 2001 and Ja’Marr Chase in 2019.

LSU is the only team in the nation with two players named to the list of semifinalists.

Nabers and Thomas forms college football’s top combination at wide receiver as they have combined to catch 135 passes for 2,445 yards and 26 touchdowns. Their 2,445 yards and 26 TDs are the most among any wide receiver combination in the FBS.

Individually, Nabers leads the nation in receiving yards with 1,424 and his 12 touchdowns rank fourth nationally. Nabers has 80 receptions to his credit, which leads the SEC and ranks No. 5 nationally.

Nabers has eight games with at least 100 receiving yards, which includes a 13-catch, 239-yard, 2-touchdown effort in the win over Mississippi State earlier this year. His eight 100-yard games in 2023 ties Justin Jefferson for No. 3 in school history, while his 1,424 yards is the fourth-highest total at LSU.

Nabers enters the Texas A&M game with 2,861 yards on 180 receptions. He’s looks to join Reed as the only 3,000-yard receivers in school history. Nabers currently ranks No. 2 on LSU’s career receiving list for yardage and needs only four receptions to break Wendell Davis’ school-record of 183 career receptions.

Thomas has caught at TD pass in eighth games and leads the nation with 14 touchdowns. He has 55 receptions for 1,021 yards. It’s only the third time in school history LSU has had a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in the same season as they join Jarvis Landy and Odell Beckham Jr. in 2013 and Chase and Jefferson in 2019 in accomplishing the feat.

Nabers and Thomas have both topped the 100-yard mark in five games, including two straight heading into the Texas A&M season-finale on Saturday. Last week against Georgia State, Nabers had eight catches for 140 yards and two scores, while Thomas caught four passes for 103 yards and a score.

The 2023 Biletnikoff Award semifinalists are as follows (in alphabetical order):

Brock Bowers (TE), Georgia
Luther Burden III (WR), Missouri
Keon Coleman (WR), Florida State
Troy Franklin (WR), Oregon
Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR), Ohio State
Xavier Legette (WR), South Carolina
Malik Nabers (WR), LSU
Rome Odunze (WR), Washington
Brian Thomas Jr. (WR), LSU
Malik Washington (WR), Virginia