ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech Thursday captured the Biletnikoff Award, presented to the nation's top wide receiver.
The 6-foot-3 inch, 222-pound Houston native became the first freshman to be voted the award, named for Fred Biletnikoff -- an all-American at Florida State University who went on to become a Pro Bowl performer during 14 seasons with the Oakland Raiders and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Hall of Fame.
Crabtree led the nation this season with 21 touchdowns on 125 receptions for 1,861 receiving yards. He had 10 or more receptions in eight games and at least 100 yards receiving 10 times.
His exploits helped the Red Raiders finish 8-4, leading to a meeting Jan. 1 against 9-3 Virginia at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.
"I am very excited and honored to take this award home to Texas Tech," he said. "I have to give thanks to my parents, coaches and teammates because without them this would not have been possible."
The other finalists for the award were Jordy Nelson of Kansas State and Michigan's Mario Manningham.