HUNTINGTON — Marshall wide receiver Aaron Dobson has been selected to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation announced Tuesday morning.
Dobson is one of just two Conference USA wideouts to make the list, joining SMU’s Darius Johnson.
Last week, Dobson was named to the CFPA (College Football Performance Awards) Watch List as well.
In late June, Blue Ribbon also announced that he was a first-team preseason All-Conference USA pick, as did preseason magazines from Athlon, Lindy’s and Phil Steele.
Dobson, a senior from Dunbar, W.Va. who won state championships in football and basketball at South Charleston High School, tied for second in the C-USA with 12 touchdown catches last season.
He had 49 receptions for 668 yards in 2011 and was named the Most Valuable Player in the Herd's 20-10 victory over FIU in the Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl.
In the bowl game inside Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., the 6-foot-3 Dobson hauled in two touchdown passes of 30-plus yards from frosh quarterback Rakeem Cato, including a game-clinching 35-yarder with just 30 seconds remaining.
He also had breakout performances in a win over eventual C-USA champion Southern Miss (7 catches, 69 yards, 2 TD), a two-TD showing in a loss at Houston and a masterful game in a bowl bid-clinching, 34-27 overtime win against East Carolina.
That day, Dobson dazzled fans with a four-catch, 110-yard performance that saw him race to the end zone with a 77-yard scoring pass on the game's first play from scrimmage and a leaping, backhanded 13-yard TD grab just before halftime.
The play immediately became a viral social media sensation before the game even ended, was featured as the cover of Herd Insider magazine and eventually was the featured picture for the 2012 Marshall football schedule poster.
Dobson’s 12 touchdown receptions are the most at MU Darius Watts had 18 TDs receiving in 2001, and Dobson now has four 100-yard receiving games in his career.
Dobson has a chance to lead the Herd in receiving for the third-consecutive year, a feat only reached by five other Marshall receivers since 1950: Jim Swierczak in 1951-52-53; Jim Cure in 1962-63-64; John “Fuzzy” Filliez in 1973-74-75-76; Mike Barber in 1986-87-88; and Nate Poole in 1998-99-2000.
The award annually recognizes the outstanding receiver in college football.
The award recipient is selected by the Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee, a group of over 180 prominent football journalists, commentators, and receivers.
The 2012 winner will be presented live on December 6, 2012, on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show to be broadcast from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Foundation Chairman Walter Manley, II, announced that the Biletnikoff Award winner will receive his trophy before 600 patrons at the Biletnikoff Award Banquet at the University Center Club at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee on Saturday, February 9, 2013.
Larry Csonka will deliver the keynote address (following a tradition of distinguished keynoters like Bart Starr, Steve Largent, Mike Ditka, Don Shula, Dan Reeves, Archie Manning, and Dan Fouts) and recognize the Foundation's fifteen scholarship recipients who will receive from the Foundation well over $200,000 in college scholarships.
The Foundation's charitable mission is to provide college scholarships to North Florida high school seniors who have overcome significant barriers to achieve at the highest academic and extra-curricular levels.
The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc. will announce the ten Biletnikoff Award semifinalists on November 12, 2012, following the vote by the Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee.
Likewise, the three finalists will be declared, following another vote, on November 19, 2012. For complete details and updates of interest, together with weekly statistics and news of the Biletnikoff Award candidates, please consult the Foundation website at www.biletnikoffaward.com.
The name Biletnikoff is synonymous with the term receiver.
Fred Biletnikoff, a member of the pro and college football halls of fame, was an All-Pro receiver with the Oakland Raiders and an All-America receiver at Florida State University.
He caught 589 passes for 8,974 yards and 76 touchdowns in his 14-year Raiders career from 1965 through 1978. Fred was the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XI.
The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc. created the Biletnikoff Award in 1994. Sixteen college receivers have won the award, including Marshall’s own Randy Moss (1997), Calvin Johnson, Michael Crabtree, and Larry Fitzgerald.
Foundation Selection Committee Chairman Ritchie Pickron noted, "The 2012 Biletnikoff Award Preseason Watch List contains one of the most talented fields in recent memory. We are expecting an extremely competitive contest among the receivers to win the Biletnikoff Award."
Marshall opens its 2012 season at West Virginia on Sept. 1.