Brown breaks receiving record, named finalist for Biletnikoff

Posted on Nov 14 2018 - 5:50am by John Macon Gillespie

A.J. Brown could soon add another feather to his hat.

Brown broke the school record for all-time receiving yards on Saturday, amassing 2,711 yards so far in his Ole Miss career. His total yardage was enough to surpass Shea Hodge’s record of 2,646 set in 2009. While it took Hodge all four years as a Rebel to attain the record, Brown has done it in just under three years in Oxford.

“(A.J. Brown) has been around a lot of great receivers here at Ole Miss,” head coach Matt Luke said at a press conference on Monday. “For him to be the all-time leading receiver, that’s a pretty special accomplishment for him.”

Wide receiver A.J. Brown celebrates after catching a pass by Jordan Ta’amu for a touchdown during the game against South Carolina earlier this season. South Carolina won the game 48-44. File photo by Christian Johnson

Along with his new record, Brown was named one of 11 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award on Monday, an honor bestowed upon college football’s most prolific receiver each season.

Although wide receivers, tight ends and running backs are all eligible for the award, Brown has made his case for the honor in 2018 with 1,047 receiving yards and five touchdowns on the season. He has also produced five 100-yard receiving games, and his 1,047 yards rank fifth nationally.

“Really proud of what he’s been able to accomplish,” Luke said. “His attitude has been outstanding. I know he’ll want to finish things the right way. He could care less about individual awards. He wants the team to do well, (and) I am very proud.”

After an injury to D.K. Metcalf earlier this season, the Ole Miss receiving corps experienced some shakeup in its alignment. According to Luke, Brown has handled this shakeup with class and has been able to produce on the field no matter where he lines up pre-snap.

“He’s been very unselfish — playing inside, playing outside,” Luke said. “He’s very versatile. That will do nothing but help him going forward, his ability to do a bunch of different things.”

Brown’s versatility has helped him gain his impressive career receiving numbers and has helped ensure his spot among the final 11 Biletnikoff semifinalists.

“(Brown’s record is) pretty amazing because some of the guys he passed were four-year guys,” Luke said. “It’s a tribute to him and how hard he works. For him to do it in such a short amount of time says a lot about him as a player.”

Three finalists for the Biletnikoff will be announced on Nov. 19, followed by a vote by the Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee. The committee is made up of college football journalists, commentators, announcers and former Biletnikoff Award winners.