Nov. 23, 2005
Junior wide receiver Jeff Samardzija, the Notre Dame record-holder for single-season touchdown passes (13), has been named one of three finalists for the 2005 Biletnikoff Award, presented annually to the nation's outstanding football receiver.
Samardzija currently leads the Irish with 63 catches for 999 yard and 13 touchdowns. Able to make catches in traffic, nab receptions with one hand and turn five-yard outs into 73-yard completions, Samardzija has been one of the top playmakers in the country this season. He needs just one receiving yard in Notre Dame's final game at Stanford (Saturday, Nov. 26, 5:00 p.m. PST, ABC) to become the third Irish receiver to post over 1,000 yards in a single season and first since Tom Gatewood in 1970. In fact, the Valparaiso, Ind., native is just 124 yards off Gatewood's single-season record for receiving yardage (1,123).
Samardzija also became the first Notre Dame receiver to catch a touchdown pass in a season's first eight games this year - which also is the school record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass.
Samardzija is one of three finalists for this year's Biletnikoff Award, along with Oregon State's Mike Hass and USC's Dwayne Jarrett.
The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc., (TQC Foundation), the creator and sponsor of the Biletnikoff Award (presented annually to the nation's outstanding college football receiver), is an independent, charitable organization founded in 1994. A number of people established the award and many more have contributed to its development as one of the most prominent in college football. The idea of a college receiver's award was not a novel one, as a numver of organizations throughout America considered establishing it. The trophy, presented to each winner, is the most beautiful individual award in college football - it has won several national awards for design excellence and aesthetic appeal.
Over 50 Prominent journalists, commentators, announcers, and former players select the winner through a process audited by a CPA firm. While the TQC Foundation Trustees manage the organization, they have no role in the winner's selection. The award is presented annually on the ESPN College Awards Show and the TQC Foundation hosts the party at Walt Disney World for the finalists and sponsoring organizations of the many awards presented on ESPN.
The TQC Foundation's mission also includes the prevision of generous college scholarships to local high school students who have overcome significant emotional, physical, and environmental barriers. The annual banquest in Tallahassee, Florida, attended by 500 supporters with a keynote address by a prominent national figure, showcases each year's award winner as well as the scholarship recipients. Over 40 students have received college scholarships.
The annual awards banquet is held during February in our hometown of Tallahassee, Florida. Because the Foundation pays no salaries (all work by the Trustees is contributed), each financial contribution is directed to scholarship assistance.