Rutgers received a huge boost on the offensive side of the ball when Bo Melton announced his return for the 2021 season. Now, Melton has a chance to make some noise nationally.
On Thursday, Melton was named to the Fred Biletnikoff Award Watch List. This announcement comes just three days after Olakunle Fatukasi was named to the Bednarik Award Watch List, given to the top linebacker in the nation.
This award is given to the nation’s college football season’s outstanding FBS receiver regardless of position. It is named after the legendary receiver who starred at Florida State and went onto have a hall of fame career with the Oakland Raiders. Previous winners of the award include Randy Moss, Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, and most recently, DeVonta Smith.
Melton will return as the No. 1 offensive weapon for Rutgers. He has played in 45 games since 2017 with his best coming in 2020. — and he did it in just nine games. Melton was named honorable mention All Big-Ten by the coaches and media. Was this a bit of a snub? The Big Ten had plenty of talent on the outside last season but Melton was certainly worthy of a spot.
In 2020, Melton ranked third in the Big Ten with nine total touchdowns and was top five in receiving yards (638) and combined kick return yards (235). Melton was one of just three receivers to finish in the top six in the conference in receptions (47), receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns (6).
The offense for the Scarlet Knights took a huge step forward in year one of Greg Schiano and Sean Gleeson. Rutgers scored 26.7 points per game, which was the most since joining the Big Ten. This number was up 13.4 points per game from the previous season for the fourth-best improvement nationally.
The Scarlet Knights have plenty of weapons back on the offensive end including Noah Vedral, Isaih Pacheco, and Shameen Jones. Melton leads the way and is the type of player that can make it all come together for Rutgers.
Rutgers is currently favored by double-digits over Temple for the season-opener on Thursday, Sept. 2. Melton and the Scarlet Knights’ offense have a chance to make an impact right away.