JONESBORO, Ark — Arkansas State senior wide receiver Omar Bayless was announced Monday by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation as one of 12 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, issued annually to the outstanding FBS receiver regardless of position.
Bayless currently leads the nation in total receiving yards and touchdown catches, while also ranking tied for eighth in receptions (7.3 per game). He has posted a school-record six 100-yard receiving games this year, which is also the second most in the country.
The Laurel, Miss. native is one of just seven players this century to record at least 73 receptions, 14 receiving touchdowns and 1,262 receiving yards in 10 games or less. Among the other six are four past Biletnikoff Award winners, including Larry Fitzgerald (Pitt, 2003), Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech, 2007), Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State, 2010) and Brandin Cooks (Oregon State, 2013).
Bayless is the first A-State player to be named a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, although the Red Wolves’ J.D. McKissic and Dwayne Frampton were on the watch list in 2013 and 2011, respectively.
A two-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection, Bayless has rewritten the Arkansas State record books this year. With at least two games remaining this year, his 14 touchdown receptions are already four more than the second most in school history. They are also the most ever by a Sun Belt player.
The 1,262 receiving yards to his credit are also a school record and just 60 shy of the most in Sun Belt history. Not only are his six 100-yard receiving games the most ever by an A-State player in a single season, they tie the most all-time in the Sun Belt.
Bayless tied the school record for touchdowns in a game with four against SMU and he was named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week after posting 213 receiving yards, the third most all-time at A-State, and a touchdown against Troy.
He has caught at least three passes in every game and six or more in all but one outing, including a career-high 10 against both SMU and Troy. He’s been responsible for at least one touchdown catch in eight contests, which is tied for the second most in the nation.
Bayless’ four-year career at A-State has seen him pile up a school-record 23 touchdown receptions that also rank fourth all-time among Sun Belt players. He also ranks fourth in A-State history for both career receptions (157) and receiving yards (2,384).
The Biletnikoff Award semifinalists, finalists and award recipient is selected by the highly-distinguished Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee, a group of prominent college football journalists, commentators, announcers, Biletnikoff Award winners and other former receivers.
The three finalists will be announced on Nov. 25 and the 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner will be presented live on Dec. 12 at the College Football Hall of Fame on the Home Depot College Football Awards presented by Gildan to be broadcast 6:00-8:00 p.m. (CT) on ESPN.