Football

Corey Coleman wins first Biletnikoff Award for Baylor

Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman runs for a touchdown during an NCAA college football game against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan. Coleman won the Biletnikoff Award on Thursday night at the college awards show in Atlanta.
Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman runs for a touchdown during an NCAA college football game against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan. Coleman won the Biletnikoff Award on Thursday night at the college awards show in Atlanta. AP

Baylor receiver Corey Coleman picked up his 2015 Biletnikoff Award, the heaviest of the trophies presented Thursday, and positioned it on a pedestal for a series of selfie photos on his cellphone.

Coleman, a junior who became the first Baylor player honored as the nation’s top receiver, never broke a smile during the entire process at the Home Depot College Football Awards show.

“It feels amazing. I’ve still got jitters right now. My heart was beating so fast and my hands are still sweating,” Coleman said as he hoisted the 80-pound piece of hardware into prime posing position. “It’s an unbelievable feeling.”

It does come with one minor drawback, as Coleman acknowledged.

“I think I’m going to need to start doing some curls again,” Coleman said. “It feels like this trophy weighs 100 pounds.”

Coleman, who already has declared his intention to enter the 2016 NFL Draft, earned the right to give the trophy a permanent home by leading the nation in touchdown catches (20) during the Bears’ 9-3 regular season.

Coleman, who called himself “the fastest guy in the room” while accepting on-stage congratulations from ESPN announcer Chris Fowler, used that speed while averaging 18.4 yards per catch and 113.6 receiving yards per game this season.

He edged TCU receiver Josh Doctson and Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell in balloting by members of the Biletnikoff selection committee to become the first Baylor player to bring the honor back to a school that bills itself as “WRU” because of a recent run of NFL-bound receivers that includes the Dallas Cowboys’ Terence Williams.

Coleman was the only player from a Texas school to win one of the nine individual honors presented Thursday at the awards show, held for the first time at the College Football Hall of Fame. In the estimation of Baylor coach Art Briles, who attended the ceremony, the fourth-year junior from Richardson Pearce makes for a most deserving honoree.

“He’s a real leader in our program and a warrior on the field,” Briles said. “He’s a confident guy and a playmaker. He’s certainly a guy that deserves the attention he gets by the way he’s played on the field.”

During a season marked by injuries to three Baylor quarterbacks, Coleman wound up catching passes from four different passers whiles clinching an honor that he considers something to share with fellow members of a receiver corps that includes notable pass-catchers Jay Lee, KD Cannon and others.

“It’s not just for me. It’s a first for the whole wide receiver corps that’s been pushing me to be at my best,” Coleman said. “We didn’t have a Biletnikoff [winner]. Now, the standard is set really high. It’s exciting for me to bring back that trophy.”

Even if it requires a few more sets of arm curls to comfortably show it off when he returns to Waco.

Home Depot College Football Award winners

Award

Winner

School

Bednarik Award

Tyler Matakevich

Temple

Biletnikoff Award

Corey Coleman

Baylor

Lou Groza Award

Ka’imi Fairbairn

UCLA

Ray Guy Award

Tom Hackett

Utah

Maxwell Award

Derrick Henry

Alabama

Davey O’Brien Award

Deshaun Watson

Clemson

Outland Trophy

Joshua Garnett

Stanford

Jim Thorpe Award

Desmond King

Iowa

Doak Walker Award

Derrick Henry

Alabama

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