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Bateman named semifinalist for Biletnikoff Award

Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman (13) runs the ball in the end zone for a touchdown during an NCAA college football game against Penn State, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Minneapolis. Photo: Stacy Bengs/Associated Press
Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman (13) runs the ball in the end zone for a touchdown during an NCAA college football game against Penn State, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Minneapolis.

Updated: November 18, 2019 10:17 AM

Golden Gophers wide receiver Rashod Bateman was named a semifinalist for the prestigious Biletnikoff Award Monday.

Bateman is one of 12 semifinalists, one of three sophomores on the list and the only semifinalist from the Big Ten.

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Bateman joins Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan as a semifinalist for a postseason award, as Morgan was announced last week as one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award. Minnesota is one of only five schools – joining Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma and SMU – to have a semifinalist on each list.

Bateman has 44 catches for 945 yards and seven touchdowns through 10 games this season. He's 224 yards shy of tying teammate Tyler Johnson's single-season record of 1,169 receiving yards set in 2018.

Bateman also became the second-fastest Gopher to reach 1,000 career receiving yards, doing so against Purdue in his 17th career game. The fastest was Ryan Thelwell, who did so in 15 games, faster than the likes of Ernie Wheelwright (20 games), Eric Decker (21) and teammate Tyler Johnson (26).

He's caught at least one pass in all 23 games he has played and had 203 receiving yards against Penn State this year, which is the second-most in a game in school history (most in a Big Ten game). Thelwell owns the school record of 228 yards, which he set against Ball State in 1996. Bateman also has four 100-yard games this year and five (tied for ninth in school history) in his career.

In 23 career games, he has 95 catches for 1,649 yards and 13 touchdowns. 

The winner of the 2019 Biletnikoff Award will be announced on Dec. 12, at the College Football Hall of Fame and will be broadcast from 7 to 9 p.m. on ESPN.

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