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Illinois' Mikey Dudek on Biletnikoff watch list

The true freshman is among the nation's best wide receivers

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Mikey Dudek is hitting the field in college football for the first time this fall.

Thus far, it has gone without a hitch for the true freshman wide receiver at Illinois. The Neuqua Valley product had his name added to the Biletnikoff Award watch list on Tuesday after a stellar first half of the season.

The Biletnikoff Award is given to the nation's top wide receiver, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 11. Ten semifinalists will be announced on Nov. 17 before three finalists are selected on Nov. 24.

Dudek has hauled in 33 receptions for 539 yards and three touchdowns, his totals lead the Illini in receptions and receiving yards with his three touchdowns are second to only Geronimo Allison.

Current NFL free agent, Arrelious Benn has the receiving yard record by a freshman with 676 yards during 2007, and Dudek is only 138 yards away from breaking Benn's record. Dudek also only needs 22 more receptions this season to surpasses Benn's 54 receptions mark.

Dudek jumped into the national spotlight in last Saturday's 38-27 home loss against Purdue, when his eight catches for 200 yards made him only the fourth Illini to ever record a 200-yard game. He joined the elite club of A.J. Jenkins (268, '11), Steve Hull (224, '13) and David Williams (208, '84). His 200-yard total also is a season-high in the Big Ten.

Dudek is one of 76 receivers on the watch list, which includes 12 Big Ten wide outs.

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