Collin Johnson named to 2018 Biletnikoff Award watch list

CJ Vogel

Junior wide receiver Collin Johnson will attempt to do something no Longhorn has ever accomplished before: win the Biletnikoff Award for best receiver in college football.

The 6-fot-6-inch wide receiver was named to the award’s preseason watch list Thursday morning, Texas Athletics announced in a press release. The Biletnikoff Award Trophy, which was first established in 1994, is presented to the nation’s top pass catcher each season.

Johnson is coming off a sophomore campaign where he led the Longhorns with 54 catches and 765 yards, while finding the endzone twice.

It should not come as a surprise to see Johnson’s name on the watch list, as he has already garnered the attention of several NFL Draft scouts, thanks to a breakout performance last season against USC. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller released a way-too early 2019 Mock Draft which included Johnson being picked in the first round.

Jordan Shipley is the only Longhorn to be named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. He received the honor in 2009 after hauling in 114 passes for 1,485 yards.

Thanks to Johnson’s size and potential, the excitement and expectations surrounding his junior season are arguably the highest of any Texas receiver since the Mack Brown era. Of course, Johnson’s success will be a result of the men under center and calling the plays, both of which have yet to be set in stone.

The Big 12 has produced the last three winners of the award, with Oklahoma State’s James Washington winning it last year, Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook in 2016 and Baylor’s Corey Coleman in 2015.

Johnson’s campaign for the Biletnikoff Award will begin on Sept. 1, when the Longhorns travel to FedExField for their season opener against Maryland.