Westbrook on Biletnikoff Award Watch List #iufb

For the second consecutive year, Indiana redshirt junior wide receiver Nick Westbrook earned a spot on the Biletnikoff Award Watch List, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club (TQC) Foundation, Inc., announced Thursday. The award annually recognizes the outstanding FBS receiver in college football.

Westbrook made the list a year ago after a 2016 honorable mention All-Big Ten season in which he caught 54 passes for 995 yards and six touchdowns. The Lake Mary, Fla., native ranked second in the Big Ten in yardage, third in average per catch, seventh in receptions and tied for seventh in scores, while the 995 yards ranks seventh on IU’s all-time list.

However, a knee injury suffered on the opening kickoff of the 2017 season against Ohio State ended Westbrook’s season before it began, so he’ll return to the field this fall looking to pick up where he left off.

Any player, regardless of position, who catches a pass is eligible for the award. As such, the Biletnikoff Award recognizes college football’s outstanding receiver, not merely college football’s outstanding wide receiver. The recipient is selected by the highly distinguished Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee, a group of prominent college football journalists, commentators, announcers, Biletnikoff Award winners and other former receivers. For a list of voters, visit BiletnikoffAward.com/voters.

Receivers are periodically added to the watch list as their season performances dictate. Actual, not potential, performance is the basis for inclusion on the Biletnikoff Award Watch List.

The 2018 Biletnikoff Award winner will be presented live on Dec. 6, 2018, on ESPN’s College Football Awards show.


  1. I hope Westbrook has a great year this season as he was very good in 2016. He is part of the lightning cleats group that run 22 mph or faster. For those that question the new S&C staff, IU started with two players running this fast and now have 16 in this group. I know some question measuring speed in mph but after thinking about it and researching it I like this measure better than the forty. MPH measures top speed IE can they outrun others when in high gear. This is one of the better articles on measuring speed : https://www.prideofdetroit.com/2017/2/24/14720660/nfl-combine-40-yard-dash-fastest-times-history-miles-per-hour

    No matter where IU stands in the speed of their players one thing we know from measurements is we will be much faster this season.

    1. V13,
      I have been very curious about the new S&C program and how effective it will actually be come game time. Read the article on the 40 to mph comparisons. Wondering, at IU, are they measuring on a 40 yd basis? Also how does the rather high mph on so many player translate into actual quickness, i.e. off the ball etc? Lot of question, also wondering how other programs are measuring and how many of their players are at similar speeds.

      I can see in theory the S&C program combined with TA’s preferred football body types has the potential to produce results. The real question most of the posters will have is will theory actually pan out in practice, that is will it produce game results against the competition IU must face?

  2. I believe that losing Westbrook in the first game of last season was one of the key reasons why IU did not produce six wins. His talent, speed and experience are very difficult to replace. I look forward to him being back at full strength and having a great final season in college football.

  3. Po, Westbrook is a very good receiver and it would have really helped IU out last year. I hope Westbrook learns from our recievers leaving early and not doing well in the NFL will have him return for two years. He got a redshirt year so he has two years of eligibility and the extra year in college would help him develop into a very good NFL receiver. I know if he has a great year it is likely to have him leave after this year but the extra year of experience would really help him. Now we just need Hale and Harris to be at full strength [Harris is in the lightning cleat club already this summer] to add to the receivers and give IU a very good group in the B1G.

  4. Secret formulas and potions; that if IU fb has, all other major programs have or their own secret formula and potion also. Potential? Can it translate into competitiveness and wins? Same story since 1887 for IU fb. Potential.

  5. t, the proof is in the pudding and so far the S&C staff are showing results. Speed is up along with power in the weight room but more importantly it is the players talking about feeling healthier now than before. Players have gained muscle mass while losing body fat. Penix for example put on 15 pounds since coming into the program yet his speed has increased. Ellison is at 220 but his body fat has dropped from 12% to 6% and he is faster than in 2017. The ultimate results won’t be known until the season is played but so far results are very good. Can we see the same results ND did going from 4 wins to 10 wins following the S&C program coach Ballou helped install?

    1. v13,
      t and anyone else who wonders about the S&C program have a right to be skeptical and I’m sure your taking everything with a grain of salt as well. Mentioning the ND results brings a question immediately to mind, has anyone attributed the jump in wins to the S&C program under Ballou?

      t, The only thing I would say as far as being too skeptical is remember football history. It is full of revolutionary innovations changing the game. From Rockne’s Notre Dame Shift, to the Wishbone, and to the more modern Spread Offenses, there are certain developments which change the game. Whether or not Ballou is doing something enough different than anyone else on the S&C side of the game remains to be seen. We all know that the emphasis on speed over sheer bulk and strength certainly changed the game on the physical attributes side. We all hope that TA has brought in a S&C magician who will transform the team at least enough for a couple more wins a year. However, like everyone else I’ll believe it when I see it.

  6. I think it is a good thing especially for a program that struggles to be somewhat average. Innovation is needed. Yes, difference is in the pudding, to me meaning how does it translate against resistance with pads and equipment turning, cutting, running, blocking, tackling, passing, catching, breaking tackles, stamina, etc all while opponents are trying to do the same.

  7. Improvement is always good, but can’t imagine that other programs aren’t using some very similar ideas. “There are few secrets in football. So execute.” Hank Stram.

  8. Are other teams already at where s&c program is helping IU to achieve. So, does it mean IU is still playing catch up in this area while many teams are already beyond this point and are spending time focusing on other areas elevating their game?

  9. t,
    What I could find indicates Notre Dame did give a lot of credit for the turnaround from ’16 to ’17 to the S&C program. Most of the publicity appears to have went to Matt Balis who was the overall S&C coordinator for ND. I too am curious about the same questions you ask. V13 has repeated stated the S&C program to be cutting edge and I am hoping we hear his perspective on the questions you and others are raising. I know football is still a game of fundamentals and basic talent, but I also know innovations can tip the scales either to equalize or change the balance. These are questions which are fun to speculate over, but will not likely have definitive answers until played out on the field.

  10. You said it yourself, thinkaboutit….You said the top football teams from the BigTen would most likely struggle and endure many conference losses if in the SEC. How much can ‘strength & conditioning’ do for one of the bottom-feeders in the BigTen?
    Sorry, but I believe your so-called “fun” to be disingenuous. You find it fun because we remain, in your belief, shortchanged as an inferior to your favored Southern tastes.
    We are nothing more than a curiosity….We are an oddity of a football species you examine as fortunate to have never been subjected to the real rules of world survival. We have never been the fittest…or can claim to participate with those who have been tested by the Darwinian principles of superior Southern football.
    We play in the Galápagos Bigger Ten Islands Conference sheltered from the many football predators who would have had us for their lunch years ago….You sketch our curious little shapes as we learn to crawl differently across the sand….You give wonder to how we would have fared in any other football world where the game challenges and evolves.
    We are the music in man’s downtime outside the wars and evolutionary strain. Fun.

    1. H4H,
      You missed the point . . . .again. My curiosity is regarding the effectiveness of a “cutting edge” S&C program to level the playing field, at least temporarily. Even if Ballou’s program were to be football magic, it would likely be short lived. If nothing else, most successful innovations are quickly copied. If the S&C program were to for example up a 3 to a 4 star, in a few years everything would equalize out as all programs would adopt the same S&C advancement principles. Long term you still have to recruit the highest quality players you can. What a revolutionary program could do is make a school at least temporarily a destination location. What the program does with such will determine long term success.

      You mentioned my so called “favored Southern tastes.” It is simply facing the reality which has existed for quite some time in college football. That is not particularly tasteful for someone born and bred in B1G country. Try living in SEC country as a B1G, kind of like having to endure Lexington as a Hoosier or West Lafayette bleeding cream & crimson.

  11. To me, is T.A. an opportunity paradigm whatever it is, s & c or otherwise . In other words T.A. seems to be an integrity principled caring individual who has success in his defensive coaching. Will T.A. (along with his staff) be a paradigm shift of success for IU fb? Are the stars aligned right for T.A. and IU football?

  12. Top teams have very good S&C programs but are not using the system IU is using. It comes down to most coaches know what they know and won’t try something new if they are successful. Innovation usually comes from coaches that need something new to be successful. The run and shoot came out of Middletown Ohio when Tiger Ellison looked to turn around their season. Whether looking at the Veer, spread, pistol or any other innovation it took coaches wanting more success.

    As coach Ballou has said, other teams are not using this system because too many S&C coaches are locked in to what they did as players and have done as coaches. How much this system will help IU will be shown this season. With the rapid improvement in speed and strength IU is catching up in a hurry and I hope we see the kind of improvement ND had last year.

  13. V13,
    I am glad you used those examples of innovation and the rationale behind such willingness to think out of the box. I am wondering if because a significant part of TA’s approach is the S&C program which is an out of the norm method of innovation might be a cause for a reasonable amount of skepticism? I also wonder how much of the ND turn around attributed to their S&C program was Balis and how much was Ballou? Also did Dr. Rhea contribute into the ND program or was his association from the prior work with Ballou?

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