Football

Senior wide receiver Ervin Philips named to Biletnikoff Award watch list

Jessica Sheldon | Staff Photographer

In the season opener against Colgate last year, Ervin Philips tied a program record for catches in a game, with 14.

Syracuse senior wide receiver Ervin Philips has been named to the 2017 Biletnikoff Award watch list, which is named after Florida State star Fred Biletnikoff and recognizes the nation’s top receiver.

Philips, an All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention selection in 2016, is one of six ACC receivers to make the 45-player watch list, including Clemson’s Deon Cain, Virginia Tech’s Cam Phillips, Duke’s T.J. Rahming, Miami’s Ahmmon Richards and Pittsburgh’s Jester Weah.

As a junior in 2016, Philips started all 12 games at inside receiver. He finished second on the team in receptions (90), receiving yards (822) and receiving touchdowns (six). His 90 receptions were the most ever for an SU junior, ranked second on the school season ledger, and 10th in ACC single-season history.

He ranked eighth nationally in receptions per game (7.5) and tied Art Monk’s single-game record with 14 grabs in the season opener against Colgate. Philips is second among active ACC receivers in career receptions (134) and seventh in yards (1,165). His 134 catches are tied with Jarrod West for fifth on Syracuse’s all-time list.

“It’s comfortable, it allows me to sharpen up my game, it allows me to improve at a faster rate,” Philips said last year of finally playing at one position, “and it allows me to focus on one thing.”

Syracuse wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo, a Maryland transfer who exploded in his lone year at SU and became the school’s first All-American since 2001, was named a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist last fall. And, last week, SU junior quarterback Eric Dungey was named to the Maxwell Award watch list, which recognizes the top player nationally. He was one of 35 QBs on the list.

The 10 Biletnikoff Award semifinalists will be determined on Nov. 13 and the three finalists will be selected on Nov. 21. The winner will be announced Dec. 7 on ESPN.

The Orange will begin preseason camp in two to three weeks.

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