Frederick S. Biletnikoff (born February 23, 1943) is a former gridiron football player and coach. He was a wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) for fourteen seasons and later an assistant coach with the team. He retired as an NFL player after the 1978 season, and then played one additional season in the Canadian Football League (CFL) for the Montreal Alouettes in 1980. While he lacked the breakaway speed to be a deep-play threat, Biletnikoff was one of the most sure-handed and consistent receivers of his day. He was also known for running smooth, precise pass routes. He is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1988) and College Football Hall of Fame (1991).
Biletnikoff attended Florida State University, where he played college football for the Florida State Seminoles football team and earned consensus All-America honors after leading the country in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns as a senior. The Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the most outstanding receiver in NCAA Division I FBS, is named in his honor.
Through his AFL and NFL career, Biletnikoff recorded 589 receptions for 8,974 yards and 76 touchdowns, and had a then-league-record 10 straight seasons of 40 or more receptions. He accomplished these numbers at a time when teams emphasized running over passing. With the Raiders, Biletnikoff played in the second AFL-NFL World Championship game—retroactively known as Super Bowl II—and in Super Bowl XI, in which he was named the game's MVP in a victory over the Minnesota Vikings. A four-time Pro Bowl selection, he also played two AFL All-Star games, three AFL title games, and five AFC championship games.
|No. 14, 25|
|Born:||February 23, 1943|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school:||Erie (PA) Technical Memorial|
|NFL Draft:||1965 / Round: 3 / Pick: 39|
|AFL draft:||1965 / Round: 2 / Pick: 11|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Biletnikoff was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, the son of Natalie (Karuba) and Ephriam Biletnikoff. His parents were of Russian descent. In Erie, Biletnikoff attended what was then Technical Memorial High School, now Central Tech, whose athletic field now bears his name. In high school, Biletnikoff excelled in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He was a champion high jumper and earned All-City honors in basketball and baseball. His younger brother, Bob, was a starting quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes in the mid-1960s.
Turning down other notable offers, Biletnikoff chose to attend Florida State University in Tallahassee. He missed several games during his first varsity season in 1962 with a broken foot. He played on both sides of the ball his junior season, leading the team in receptions and interceptions. That year, he returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown off a pass thrown by George Mira of the Miami Hurricanes, a record which stood until 1987, when Deion Sanders broke it by one yard. As a senior in 1964, Biletnikoff led the nation with 1,179 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, and finished second in receptions (70) and scoring (90). One of his touchdowns came in the first quarter against the Florida Gators, which helped the Seminoles earn their first victory in the in-state rivalry, 16–7. The Seminoles finished the year with a 36–19 victory over Oklahoma in the Gator Bowl, in which Biletnikoff set school records with 13 receptions for 194 yards and four touchdowns. He was a consensus pick for the 1964 College Football All-America Team, receiving first-team honors from four official selectors: the Associated Press, Central Press Association, Football Writers Association of America, and Newspaper Enterprise Association. He was Florida State's first consensus All-American in football. Biletnikoff compiled 100 receptions for 1,655 yards and 20 touchdowns in his career with the Seminoles, which at the time were all school records. While in college Fred also joined the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
After graduating from FSU, he was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 1965 AFL Draft, 11th overall and by the Detroit Lions in the third round of the 1965 NFL Draft, the 39th overall selection. Biletnikoff signed with the Raiders, where he played for fourteen seasons. With Oakland, he was nicknamed "Coyote", and "Doctor Zhivago" because of his Russian heritage. In 1966, he caught his first touchdown pass, thrown by quarterback Tom Flores, who later became the Raiders' head coach the season after Biletnikoff was released by the team.
Although he lacked the breakaway speed to be a deep threat, Biletnikoff's precise pass routes and sure hands made him one of the most consistent receivers of his day, and a favorite target of Raiders quarterbacks Daryle Lamonica and Ken Stabler. "I like catching passes", he explained. "And I like playing outside. I would be lost if I were ever told to do anything on a football field except catch passes." Through his career he recorded 589 receptions, and had a league record 10 straight seasons of 40 or more receptions from 1967 to 1976, since surpassed by many players. Following the retirement of Charley Taylor, Biletnikoff spent the 1978 season (his last) as the NFL's active leader in career receiving yards, and retired ranked 5th all-time.
Biletnikoff popularized the use of Stickum, an adhesive that many players applied to their hands to assist with catching and gripping the ball. He would apply the substance all over his body and uniform prior to a game, a practice that was later picked up by Raiders cornerback Lester Hayes after Biletnikoff introduced him to it. The use of Stickum was banned by the NFL in 1981.
In his rookie season, Biletnikoff played primarily on special teams. He did not see playing time on offense until the seventh game of the year, against the Boston Patriots, in which he caught seven passes for 118 yards. His production increased significantly with Oakland's acquisition of quarterback Daryle Lamonica in 1967. That year, he caught 40 passes for 876 yards and five touchdowns and led the league with an average of 21.9 yards per reception. He was invited to play in the 1967 AFL All-Star Game. In that year's AFL championship game, Biletnikoff had two receptions for 19 yards in the Raiders' 40–7 blow-out win over the Houston Oilers. In Super Bowl II against the Green Bay Packers, he caught two passes for 10 yards as the Raiders were defeated 33–14.
Biletnikoff recorded his only 1,000-yard receiving season in 1968, when he caught 61 passes for 1,037 yards and six touchdowns. The following season, in 1969 he caught a career-high 12 receiving touchdowns. He was an AFL All-Star for the second time and earned first-team All-AFL honors from the Associated Press, the Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers of America, The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, and the New York Daily News. The AFL merged into the National Football League in 1970. In his first five seasons in the NFL, Biletnikoff was invited to four Pro Bowls.
A highly productive receiver in the postseason, Biletnikoff left the NFL as the all-time leader in postseason receptions (70), receiving yards (1,167), and receiving touchdowns (10) accumulated over 19 postseason games. He recorded over 100 receiving yards in a postseason five times. In the 1968 American Football League playoffs, he had 14 receptions for 370 yards and four touchdowns through two games. In the 1976–77 NFL playoffs, Biletnikoff recorded 13 receptions for 216 yards and a touchdown. This included four catches for 79 yards to set up three Oakland scores in the Raiders' 32–14 victory in Super Bowl XI, for which he was named Super Bowl MVP.
Biletnikoff was released by the Raiders prior to the 1979 season. After a year off, he played one season in the Canadian Football League for the Montreal Alouettes in 1980. In his lone CFL season, Biletnikoff caught 38 passes, second-most on the team, for 470 yards and four touchdowns.
Biletnikoff began his career in coaching soon after his retirement from playing. He served on the coaching staff of Orange Glen High School (1982), Palomar College (1983), Diablo Valley College (1984), Oakland Invaders (1985), Arizona Wranglers (1986), and Calgary Stampeders (1987–88). In January 2007, Biletnikoff retired as the wide receivers coach for the Oakland Raiders, which had been his role for 18 seasons starting in 1989.
In February 1999, Biletnikoff's daughter, Tracey, was found strangled to death at age 20 in Redwood City, California. Tracey's boyfriend, Mohammed Haroon Ali, was convicted of first-degree murder in 2012 after admitting he strangled her with a T-shirt at a drug and alcohol treatment center during an argument over whether he had relapsed. He was sentenced to 55 years to life imprisonment. Biletnikoff called Ali an "animal" after the sentencing, and said his hatred for him would never go away. In 2015, Biletnikoff founded Tracey's Place of Hope in Loomis, California, a shelter for domestic violence victims and substance abuse treatment for females ages 14 to 18.
Biletnikoff was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. In 1999, Biletnikoff was ranked number 94 on The Sporting News' list of the "100 Greatest Football Players". He was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991. The Fred Biletnikoff Award, awarded annually by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation to the nation's outstanding receiver in NCAA Division I FBS since 1994, is named in his honor. In 2016, Biletnikoff was named the Walter Camp Man of the Year by the Walter Camp Football Foundation in recognition of his public service and his contributions to football.
The 1964 Florida State Seminoles football team represented Florida State University in the 1964 NCAA University Division football season. They were the first Seminole team to beat the rival Florida Gators.1965 Gator Bowl (January)
The 1965 Gator Bowl (January) was an American college football bowl game played on January 2, 1965 at Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. The game pitted the Florida State Seminoles and the Oklahoma Sooners.1965 Oakland Raiders season
The 1965 Oakland Raiders season was the team's sixth in both Oakland and the American Football League. The campaign saw the team attempt to improve upon the prior year's disappointing 5–7–2 record. The Raiders would ultimately finish with a record of 8–5–1. While the effort was a definite improvement over the prior year's result, it was not enough to win the division and secure a postseason berth. The season would be Al Davis' last as head coach, as he would be named Commissioner of the AFL in April 1966. He would be replaced by John Rauch in 1966.
The 1965 season was the first of sixteen consecutive winning seasons for the Raiders. It is also notable for the debut of Hall of Fame wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff. Biletnikoff would be the first of several legendary Raiders drafted in the late-1960s and early 1970s. He would be an integral part of the team's 1967 and 1976 Super Bowl runs.
The season was also the team's last at Frank Youell Field. They would move to the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum for the following season.1967 Oakland Raiders season
The 1967 Oakland Raiders season was the team's eighth in Oakland. Under the command of second-year head coach John Rauch, the Raiders went 13–1 (an AFL record) and captured their first Western Division title. The addition of strong-armed quarterback Daryle Lamonica greatly energized the Raiders' vertical passing game. Additionally, the Raiders added Gene Upshaw, Willie Brown, and George Blanda to their roster during the 1967 offseason. All three players would eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame.
The Raiders routed the Houston Oilers in the 1967 AFL Championship Game. The victory allowed them to advance to Super Bowl II, where they were soundly defeated by the NFL champion Green Bay Packers. The Raiders would ultimately finish the season with a record of 14–2.
The 1967 season was a massive breakthrough for the Raiders organization. Between 1967 and 1985, the team would go on win twelve division titles and three Super Bowl championships.1970 Oakland Raiders season
The 1970 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 11th season in Oakland. It was also their first season as members of the NFL. The Raiders would ultimately win their fourth consecutive division title (as well as their first AFC West title). They advanced to the AFC Championship Game, where they lost to the Baltimore Colts.
The Raiders' 1970 season is best remembered for a series of clutch performances by veteran placekicker/quarterback George Blanda. Blanda, despite being cut during the 1970 preseason, eventually re-joined the Raiders' roster. His ensuing season (the twenty-first of his professional career) would rank as one of the more dramatic comebacks in sports history. Over a span of five consecutive games, Blanda would come off the bench to spark a series of dramatic rallies. The Raiders went an impressive 4–0–1 over this span.
Blanda's five-game "streak" began on October 25, 1970. In an away game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Blanda threw for two touchdowns in relief of an injured Daryle Lamonica. One week later, his 48-yard field goal (with three seconds remaining on the clock) salvaged a 17–17 tie with the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. One week later, on November 8, Blanda would come off the bench against the Cleveland Browns. His late touchdown pass (with 1:34 remaining in the game) tied the game at 20–20. He would ultimately kick a 53-yard field goal, as time expired, to give the Raiders a stunning 23–20 victory. The following week, against the Denver Broncos, Blanda again replaced Lamonica in the fourth quarter. His touchdown pass to Fred Biletnikoff, with 2:28 left in the game, gave the Raiders an unlikely 24–19 win. The incredible streak concluded one week later against the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders managed to drive deep into Chargers territory in the game's final seconds. Blanda's last-minute 16-yard field goal would seal a dramatic 20–17 triumph.
Blanda's streak played a huge role in the Raiders' 1970 division title, as the team went a mediocre 4–4–1 in "non-streak" games. Indeed, their final record of 8–4–2 (itself a four-win drop from a 12–1–1 finish in 1969) placed them only one game ahead of the Chiefs at season's end.
The Raiders would ultimately advance to the 1970 AFC Championship Game, where they met the heavily favored 11–2–1 Baltimore Colts. During this game, Blanda again came off the bench in relief of an injured Lamonica. Blanda's solid play (17 of 32 passes for 217 yards, two touchdowns, and a 48-yard field goal) kept the Raiders in the game until the final quarter, when he was intercepted twice. At age 43, Blanda became the oldest quarterback to ever play in a championship game.
Blanda's eye-opening achievements resulted in his winning the Bert Bell Award. Chiefs' owner Lamar Hunt quipped that "...this George Blanda is as good as his father, who used to play for Houston." While he never again played a major role at quarterback, Blanda would serve as the Raiders' kicker for five more seasons.1972 All-Pro Team
The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team, the Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro team and the Pro Football Writers Association, and Pro Football Weekly All-Pro teams in 1972. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP, NEA, and PFWA teams. These are the four All-Pro teams that are included in the Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League and compose the Consensus All-pro team for 1972.Antonio Bryant
Antonio Bryant (March 9, 1981) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for University of Pittsburgh, and was recognized as an All-American and Fred Biletnikoff Award winner. The Dallas Cowboys picked him in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft, and he played professionally for the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL.Charles Rogers (American football)
Charles Rogers (born May 23, 1981) is a former American football wide receiver who played three seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Michigan State University, earned unanimous All-America honors, and was recognized as the outstanding college wide receiver in the country. The Detroit Lions selected him with the second overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, but he was out of the league after only three years due to injuries and off-field issues. He is often ranked as one of the biggest busts in NFL history.Donny Anderson
Garry Don "Donny" Anderson (born May 16, 1943) is a former professional football player, a halfback and punter for nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Cardinals of the National Football League.
From Texas Tech (then Texas Technological College, now Texas Tech University), Anderson was the first round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 1965 NFL draft, the seventh overall selection. That year's draft included future hall-of-famers Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Joe Namath, and Fred Biletnikoff.Fred Biletnikoff Award
The Fred Biletnikoff Award is presented annually to the outstanding receiver in American college football by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc. (TQCF), an independent not-for-profit organization. The award was created by the Tallahasee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc. in 1994 . The award is named for Fred Biletnikoff, who played college football at Florida State University and professionally with the Oakland Raiders. Any NCAA Division I FBS player who catches the football through the forward pass is eligible to be selected as the award winner, although every winner since 1994 has been a wide receiver. A national selection committee consisting of over 540 journalists, commentators, broadcasters, and former players selects the award winner. No member of the board of trustees of the foundation has a vote.Freddie Barnes
Freddie Lee Barnes (born December 6, 1986) is a former American football wide receiver. He was signed by the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He played college football at Bowling Green.
During 2009, including the Humanitarian Bowl, Barnes accumulated an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record 155 receptions for 1,770 yards, 19 receiving touchdowns, as well as two rushing touchdowns. The 155-reception total not only surpassed the Division I record, but also an NCAA All-division record. He also broke Randy Moss' single-season Mid-American Conference yardage record. In addition, he established several Bowling Green Falcons football records during the season. During his senior season, in established numerous receiving records, was named a 2009 College Football All-American and was one of three 2009 Fred Biletnikoff Award finalists. Previously, he had been a multisport athlete at Homewood-Flossmoor High School.Jerry Jeudy
Jerry Jeudy (born April 24, 1999) is an American football wide receiver for the Alabama Crimson Tide.List of NCAA major college football yearly receiving leaders
The list of college football yearly receiving leaders identifies the major college receiving leaders for each season from 1937 to the present. It includes yearly leaders in three statistical categories: (1) receptions, (2) receiving yardage; (3) yards per reception; and (4) receiving touchdowns.
Eleven players have led the NCAA in one or more of these categories in multiple seasons. They are: Reid Moseley of Georgia (1944-1945); Hugh Campbell of Washington State (1960-1961); Vern Burke of Oregon State (1962-1963); Howard Twilley of Tulsa (1964-1965); Ron Sellers of Florida State (1967-1968); Jerry Hendren of Idaho (1968-1969); Mike Siani of Villanova (1970-1971); Steve Largent of Tulsa (1974-1975); Jason Phillips of Houston (1987-1988); Alex Van Dyke of Nevada (1994-1995); and Brennan Marion of Tulsa (2007-2008).
Since 1937, the NCAA record for receiving yards in a single season has been set or broken nine times as follows: Jim Benton of Arkansas in 1937 (814 yards); Hank Stanton of Arizona in 1941 (820 yards); Ed Barker of Washington State 1951 (864 yards); Hugh Campbell of Washington State in 1960 (881 yards); Vern Burke of Oregon State in 1962 (1,007 yards); Fred Biletnikoff of Florida State in 1964 (1,179 yards); Howard Twilley of Tulsa in 1965 (1,779 yards); Alex Van Dyke of Nevada in 1995 (1,854 yards); and Trevor Insley of Nevada in 1999 (2,060 yards).
During that same time, the record for receptions in a single season has been set or broken 13 times as follows: Jim Benton of Arkansas in 1937 (48); Hank Stanton of Arizona in 1941 (50); Barney Poole of Ole Miss in 1947 (52); Ed Brown of Fordham in 1952 (57); Dave Hibbert of Arizona in 1958 (61); Hugh Campbell of Washington State in 1962 (69); Larry Elkins of Baylor in 1963 (70); Howard Twilley of Tulsa in 1964 (95) and 1965 (134); Manny Hazard of Houston in 1989 (142); Freddie Barnes of Bowling Green in 2009 (155); and Zay Jones of East Carolina in 2016 (158).Marcus Harris (wide receiver, born 1974)
Marcus Harris (born October 11, 1974) is a former American college football player who was an All-American wide receiver who played for the University of Wyoming and won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the best college wide receiver in the nation.Roy Roundtree
Roy Randolph Roundtree (born March 7, 1989) is a former American football wide receiver and current assistant coach for the Michigan Wolverines. He was a 2013 preseason member of the Cincinnati Bengals and played college football for the Michigan Wolverines football team where he spent his redshirt senior season with the 2012 team. In 2012, he was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection. He was a 2011 Fred Biletnikoff Award preseason watchlist honoree. He was a Fred Biletnikoff Award preseason watchlist honoree in 2010, and set Michigan's single-game receiving record with nine catches for 246 yards against Illinois that November. Roundtree was the team's leading receiver in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons. He finished first in the Big Ten Conference in receiving yards in 2010 for Conference games, and was a second team All Conference selection. While in high school, he was named the 2007 Ohio Division II Offensive Player of the Year.Super Bowl XI
Super Bowl XI was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Oakland Raiders and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Minnesota Vikings to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for its 1976 season. The Raiders defeated the Vikings by the score of 32–14 to win their first Super Bowl. The game was played on January 9, 1977, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. This remains the Super Bowl scheduled earliest during the calendar year.
This was the Raiders’ second Super Bowl appearance after losing Super Bowl II. They posted a 13–1 regular season record before defeating the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. The Vikings were making their fourth Super Bowl appearance after posting an 11–2–1 regular season record and playoff victories over the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Rams. The Vikings became the first team to appear in four Super Bowls, a record they held until the Dallas Cowboys advanced to a Super Bowl for the fifth time in Super Bowl XIII. They had not won in their previous three attempts, losing Super Bowl IV to the Kansas City Chiefs in the final Super Bowl before the AFL–NFL merger and following that up with losses in Super Bowls VIII and IX.
Oakland gained a Super Bowl record 429 yards, including a Super Bowl record 288 yards in the first half, en route to winning Super Bowl XI. After a scoreless first quarter, Oakland scored on three consecutive possessions to take a 16–0 lead at halftime. The Raiders also had two fourth quarter interceptions, including cornerback Willie Brown’s 75-yard return for a touchdown. Oakland wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff, who had 4 catches for 79 yards that set up three Raider touchdowns, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). Among the wide receivers who have won the Super Bowl MVP, Biletnikoff is the only one to not have gained 100 yards in his performance.Troy Edwards
Troy Edwards (born April 7, 1977) is a former American college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons. He played college football for Louisiana Tech University, became one of the most prolific receivers in college football history, earned All-American honors and won the Fred Biletnikoff Award. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft, and he played professionally for the Steelers, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions of the NFL, and the Grand Rapids Rampage of the Arena Football League.Troy Walters
Troy McHenry Walters (born December 15, 1976) is an American football coach and former player who is currently the offensive coordinator at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Walters played was a wide receiver and punt returner in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons. Walters played college football for Stanford University, was a consensus All-American and was recognized as the outstanding college wide receiver in the country. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, and also played professionally for the Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions of the NFL.Walter Camp Man of the Year
The Walter Camp Man of the Year is one of seven awards given annually by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. The award is given to the "Man of the Year" in the world of college football. The criteria for the award are stated to include success, leadership, public service, integrity, and commitment to American heritage and Walter Camp's philosophy.
Fred Biletnikoff—championships, awards, and honors