On Tuesday, Hyatt was named a finalist for the award given to college football's top pass-catcher, along with Iowa State's Xavier Hutchinson and Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr. The winner will be announced Dec. 8 on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.
Hyatt is the Vols' first finalist for the award, which was established in 1994. Joey Kent (1996), Kelley Washington (2001) and Robert Meachem (2006) were semifinalists.
Hyatt has a strong case among a talented trio of finalists. He leads the FBS lead in touchdown catches (15) and ranks third in receiving yards (1,267) on 67 receptions.
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Hutchinson leads the FBS with 107 catches along with 1,171 yards and six TDs. Harrison has 72 catches for 1,157 yards and 12 TDs.
Hyatt often has played his best against elite competition. His seven TD catches against AP Top 25 teams leads the nation.
Hyatt's signature performance came in a 52-49 win over Alabama, when he had 207 receiving yards and an SEC-record five TD catches. He had two TD catches in a 40-13 win over LSU.
Harrison had one TD catch in three games against AP Top 25 teams. Hutchinson did not have a TD catch against an AP Top 25 team.
Hyatt now owns Tennessee's single-season record for TD catches, which also ranks sixth in SEC history. And he trails only Meachem in receiving yards (1,298 in 2006) with a bowl game still ahead this season.
Reach Adam Sparks at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @AdamSparks.
This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Jalin Hyatt tabbed Tennessee football's first Biletnikoff Award finalist