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Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Both Named Biletnikoff Semifinalists

Two chances for LSU to take home its third Biletnikoff

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Mississippi Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Every few years LSU has an outstanding wide receiver tandem that seems too good to be true: in 2013 it was Odell and Jarvis, in ‘19 it was Jefferson and Chase, and now in ‘23 it’s Brian Thomas and Malik Nabers.

Both Nabers and Thomas were named among 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation’s best receiver. LSU’s the only school to have multiple semifinalists.

There’s no other way to put it: Nabers and BTJ are the top tandem in the country. They’ve combined for 135 catches, 2,445 yards, and 26 touchdowns. No other duo has combined for more yards or touchdown receptions.

On his own Nabers has 80 catches which is good for fifth in the nation and most in the SEC. His 1,424 yards leads the country, and his 12 touchdowns ranks fourth. Nabers just needs four catches to be LSU’s career receptions leader and 144 yards to be the all-time receiving yardage leader.

Thomas, meanwhile, “only” has 55 catches for 1,021 yards. His 14 touchdowns leads the country.

Both guys are more than worthy of winning the Biletnikoff, and Nabers probably should win but I fear the media has made up its mind that Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. is going to— even though Nabers has 18 more catches and 331 yards. Georgia’s Brock Bowers is also a semifinalist and he could get it as a lifetime achievement award.

The semifinalists for the Bilentikoff are as follows:

  • Brock Bowers (TE), Georgia
  • Luther Burden III (WR), Missouri
  • Keon Coleman (WR), Florida State
  • Troy Franklin (WR), Oregon
  • Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR), Ohio State
  • Xavier Legette (WR), South Carolina
  • Malik Nabers (WR), LSU
  • Rome Odunze (WR), Washington
  • Brian Thomas Jr. (WR), LSU
  • Malik Washington (WR), Virginia