Texas Tech's penchant for annually boasting one of the top receiving corps in the country was recognized Thursday as junior wide receiver Erik Ezukanma and senior newcomer Kaylon Geiger were named to the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award.
This is the first time the Biletnikoff Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top receiver, regardless of position, has placed two Red Raiders on its watch list since 2013 when Eric Ward was a preseason candidate and Jace Amaro was added early in the season. Amaro was eventually a semifinalist for the award.
Additionally, it is the second career appearance on the watch list for both receivers as Geiger was a 2020 preseason candidate at Troy, while Ezukanma was added later in the season after turning into one of the Big 12's top wideouts as only a sophomore.
Ezukanma closed the 2020 season with 748 receiving yards and six touchdowns off 46 catches en route to becoming the first Red Raider underclassman to lead the team in receiving yards over back-to-back seasons since Michael Crabtree in 2007-08. Crabtree was the first two-time winner of the Biletnikoff Award after claiming the trophy following each of his two seasons as a Red Raider.
Over the past two seasons alone, Ezukanma has totaled 1,412 yards through the air, which trails only departed Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace for the most in the Big 12 during that period. He ranked second in the league this past season in receiving yards per game (74.8), trailing only Wallace to make him the Big 12's returning leader in the category.
Geiger, meanwhile, transferred to Texas Tech this summer for his final collegiate season after spending two years at Troy where he was a two-time All-Sun Belt honoree and was the conference's Newcomer of the Year in 2019. In his two seasons with the Trojans, Geiger caught 141 passes for 1,625 yards and eight touchdowns, while also factoring in the return game.
Geiger, a Fort Worth native like Ezukanma, signed with Troy after beginning his career at Navarro College. His arrival immediately bolsters a Tech receiving room that features a returning All-Big 12 first team honoree in Ezukanma and a slew of young, talented wideouts.
Texas Tech was one of eight schools with multiple candidates on the watch list, joining Coastal Carolina, Iowa State, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio State, SMU and USC. Semifinalists, finalists and the eventual winner of the Biletnikoff Award are determined by a selection committee comprised of prominent college football journalists, commentators, announcers, former winners and other former receivers.