If Amba Etta-Tawo hadn’t already established himself as one of the best receivers in college football, then allow him to reintroduce himself. The Maryland transfer did just that to the tune of 12 catches, 270 yards and two touchdowns in SU’s win over UConn to reestablish himself as the NCAA’s leading receiver. But this isn’t the only notable achievement for Etta-Tawo this week. He also was named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List, an award that honors the nation’s top receiver. Over the past decade, all ten winners have all been drafted to the NFL. So how likely is it that the senior can take home the Biletnikoff?
Etta-Tawo’s season long projections are straight out of a video game. If he stays on track, the Georgia native will reach 2,118 yards, which would not only shatter the all-time marks for the Orange and the ACC, but would also set an NCAA FBS record. If Etta-Tawo flirts with 2,000 yards, it would almost assure him the award since no winner has ever eclipsed that mark. Each of the past ten winners have either ranked in the top four in yards or top two in receiving touchdowns. Etta-Tawo is on pace to lead the nation in yards and his scoring rate is among the best.
The fifth year senior has played against quality opponents and even torched one of the country’s best cornerbacks in UConn’s Jamar Summers. As a result, teams will start to lock in on him and throw double and potentially triple teams to try to guard him. Looking at the remaining schedule, the Orange has two games against ranked teams as well as a matchup against a Notre Dame squad who’s widely believed to be better than its record indicates. This bodes both well and poorly for Etta-Tawo’s Biletnikoff hopes. It helps because Syracuse could fall behind early and the receiver could pick up garbage time yards with SU being forced to throw the ball. On the flip side, these teams have very talented players who could shut down Etta-Tawo or center their game plan around stopping him.
Ultimately, Syracuse likely won’t win enough games for Etta-Tawo to garner the spotlight he deserves. But if the wideout continues to perform at the pace he’s going, the committee will have no choice but to take Etta-Tawo’s resume seriously.