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Finally, the awards season goes Tennessee Football’s way

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Jalin Hyatt won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver. While it was called an “upset” during the ESPN broadcast on Thursday evening, it certainly didn’t seem like that based on statistics.

Hyatt seemed like an easy selection among the finalists for the award, which goes to the nation’s top receiver. The junior was fourth in the nation with 105 yards receiving per game in 2022. He was tied with Houston’s Nathaniel Dell with 15 touchdowns this season, was second in the nation with 103 catches in the country and fourth with 1,267 yards receiving.

During the broadcast, Hyatt said the chances of him returning to Tennessee as opposed to entering the NFL Draft were “50/50” and that he’s still conferring with his parents and coaches.

“That’s something that’s still in the air,” Hyatt said, “but I’ll have a decision next week.”

As usual, Hyatt was complimentary of almost everyone but himself after winning the award.

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“I’m blessed just to be up here, be here with my coaches and my family. Just blessed and grateful for this opportunity.”

Hyatt was a receiver that was lost last season, by his own admission. He has often said he came into the past offseason with a new mindset that helped him become one of the top playmakers in the nation.

“Just coming in the building, working everyday,” Hyatt said when asked what prompted the vast improvement from 2021 to 2022. “…just trying to get better and personally work on my game.”

Hyatt’s competitors were formidable. There were three highly touted finalists. Most thought a more recognizable finalist, Marvin Harrison Jr., from Ohio State, would win the award. Harrison averaged 96 yards receiver per game, caught 72 passes for 1,152 yards and 12 touchdowns. Harrison is the son of longtime NFL standout Marvin Harrison.

The other finalist, Iowa State’s Xavier Hutchinson, averaged 97 yards receiving per game, caught 107 passes for 1,171 yards and six touchdowns

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