University of Wyoming Cowboys senior wide receiver Dominic Rufran was one of 55 college receivers named to the early watch list for the 2014 Biletnikoff Award. The Biletnikoff Award, presented by The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc. It has been awarded to the most outstanding receiver in college football since 1994. Notable past winners include current NFL stars Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions, Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals, and Randy Moss who played for several organizations during his 14 year NFL career. The list of past winners also includes a past Wyoming Cowboy, Marcus Harris, who won the award in 1996. Harris owns the distinction of being the only Biletnikoff Award winner to never play in the NFL.
In 2013, the 6 foot, 188 pound Rufran led the Cowboys with 75 receptions, 965 receiving yards, and was second in receiving touchdowns with eight, all career highs. He recorded four 100-yard games last season against Nebraska (120 receiving yards), Air Force (117 receiving yards), Colorado State (135 receiving yards), and Hawaii (121 receiving yards). Over his three year career wearing the Brown and Gold, Rufran has compiled 158 receptions (seventh all-time in school history), 1,896 receiving yards (11th all-time in school history), and 15 receiving touchdowns (sixth all-time in school history) and will be looking to move up the Cowboys all-time receiving lists in 2014.
This past February, Rufran broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot during one-on-one practice drills. He had a screw inserted to help the foot heal and wore a boot for several weeks. The injury caused him to miss the Cowboys’ spring practices. He was cleared by doctors just in time for the team’s eight week summer conditioning program and will be ready for the 2014 season. Rufran will be missing a big part of his success from last season, starting quarterback Brett Smith. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shortly after the NFL draft this past May but only lasted a few weeks before he was cut. Smith recently signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Currently redshirt senior Colby Kirkegaard sits atop the Cowboys depth chart but has only played in seven games since joining the team in 2011.
The Biletnikoff Award is named after former All-American receiver for Florida State University and All-Pro receiver for the Oakland Raiders, Fred Biletnikoff. He is a member of the professional and college football Hall of Fame. In his 14-year career with the Raiders, he caught 589 passes for 8,974 yards and 76 touchdowns. Biletnikoff was also the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XI, a 32-14 victory by the Oakland Raiders over the Minnesota Vikings in Pasadena, California.
The 2014 Biletnikoff Award winner will be awarded live on December 11, 2014, at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN. You can check out the complete 2014 Biletnikoff Award watch list by following this link –Biletnikoff Award Watch List .