Nov. 20, 2000
UCLA junior flanker Freddie Mitchell has been named one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, presented to the best wide receiver in the country, joining Pittsburgh's Antonio Bryant and Florida State's Marvin Minnis.
The winner of the award will be announced on Thursday, December 7 in Orlando, FL, as part of the ESPN College Football Awards Show.
The explosive Mitchell, who always seems to be in the middle of the action, ranks second in the nation with his average of 119.45 receiving yards per game and with his 1,314 receiving yards. He also ranks 17th in the NCAA and second in the Pac-10 in receptions (6.18 average) and his average of 19.32 yards per catch ranks second nationally among players in the Top 35 in receptions per game. He also ranks second in the Pac-10 in all-purpose yards (119.45) and leads the Pac-10 in receiving yardage by over 31 yards per game.
On the year, he leads the Bruins with 68 receptions and a new school record 1,314 receiving yards and is second on the squad with eight touchdowns. He is averaging 36.0 yards on his touchdown receptions and five of the eight have measured at least 35 yards. Twenty-four of his 68 receptions have measured at least 20 yards.
In the regular-season finale against USC, he broke Danny Farmer's two-year old record of 1,274 receiving yards, finishing the game with 1,314. His 68 receptions rank fourth on the single-season list, five behind No. 2 Kevin Jordan and Sean LaChapelle (73 each).
In his last nine games, he has made 58 receptions for 1,165 yards (129.4 average) and six touchdowns. He accounted for at least 100 yards in four straight games, tying the school record set by Kevin Jordan in 1994, before finishing with 94 yards against Oregon State and Arizona, a career-best 185 versus Stanford and 140 against USC.
He has produced 52 first downs with his 68 receptions and two of the other 16 resulted in a touchdown.
Last week against USC, he made four receptions for 140 yards (35.0 average) and one touchdown and also threw a 45-yard scoring strike to Brian Poli-Dixon to give UCLA a 14-7 lead. His 74-yard catch-and-run gave the Bruins a first down at the six-yard line en route to a touchdown, his four-yard scoring reception gave UCLA a 28-21 lead and his 51-yard reception was the key play on the drive that tied the game at 35 with 1:05 remaining. He had three first downs and a touchdown with his four catches.