BIRMINGHAM - AL — Alabama, Auburn and UAB will go into the 2014 season in good hands.All three programs have a player on the watch list for the Fred Biletnikoff Award. The Tide's Amari Cooper, the Tigers Sammie Coates and the Blazers Jamarcus (J.J.) Nelson are among 55 players that will compete for the award given to the the nation's most outstanding receiver.South Alabama's Shavarez Smith and Wes Saxton are also on the Biletnikoff watch list. Saxton, who attended Hueytown High School, is also on the Mackey Award watch list. Cooper and Coates are also up for the Maxwell Award, for the top player of the year. Cooper was Alabama's leading receiver each of the last two years and has 15 career touchdown catches.
Coates led college football in yards per catch last season (21.5 ypc) and he averaged 54 yards on each of his seven touchdowns in 2013.
Nelson, also on the Hornung Award list for most versatile player, averages 20 yards a catch and has 16 receiving touchdowns in his college career. The former Midfield High School star has also returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns for UAB.
Click here for the full Biletnikoff Award watch list