Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong has been named to the 2014 Fred Biletnikoff Award preseason watch list. The award goes to the most outstanding receiver in the country each season.
Strong was the Sun Devils No. 1 receiver last season hauling in 75 receptions for 1,122 yards and seven touchdowns, which earned him a spot on the second team all-Pac-12. The junior college transfer out of Pierce College quickly adopted the back shoulder catch as his signature skill.
It was clear from the early going that Strong would be one of Taylor Kelly's favorite targets, eclipsing 100 yards receiving in five of the first six games during the 2013 season. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native had many memorable games last season including Notre Dame, Arizona and Stanford. He hauled in eight catches for 136 yards and a touchdown against the Fighting Irish, added 12 receptions for 168 yards against the Cardinal in Palo Alto and had another four receptions for 142 yards and a touchdown in the Territorial Cup game.
Biletnikoff was an All-American at Florida State in 1964 before he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1965. In 14 year with the silver and black, Biletnikoff caught 589 passes for 8,974 yards and 74 touchdowns. He was part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 1988 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1992.
The award is voted on by a national selection committee. The 10 semifinalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 17 and three finalists will be named on Nov. 24 and the winner of the Biletnikoff Award will be announced on Dec. 11.