KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt will enter the 2023 NFL Draft following a breakout junior season that saw him become the first player in school history to win the Biletnikoff Award.
Hyatt announced Wednesday on his Instagram that he will not play in the upcoming Orange Bowl as he forgoes his senior season and enters the NFL Draft.
The junior from South Carolina led the Southeastern Conference in receptions (67), receiving yards (1,267) and touchdowns (15). He ends the season just 33 receiving yards away from becoming the first receiver in school history to record 1,300 or more yards in a single-season.
His five touchdown catches in the dramatic win over Alabama were the most ever by a Tennessee player in a single game.
With fellow wide receiver Cedric Tillman’s season limited by injury, Hyatt became a favorite target of quarterback Hendon Hooker and a perennial explosive play threat in Josh Heupel’s offense.
He led all FBS players with 11 receptions of 40 yards or more and his average of 14.2 yards per target were the most of any FBS player with at least 50 targets. His 18.9 yards per reception ranks second among FBS players with over 850 receiving yards.
Last week, Hyatt became the first player in Tennessee history to win the Biletnikoff Award, which is awarded annually to college football’s most outstanding receiver.
Eight media outlets and organizations have named Hyatt to their All-America First Team including the Associated Press, ESPN.com and the American Football Coaches Association.
The news follows Tillman’s announcement on Monday that he will not play in the Orange Bowl in order to be fully healthy as he undergoes the draft process. Tillman underwent ankle surgery in September after he was injured in Tennessee’s Week 3 home win over Akron.
No. 6 Tennessee will take on No. 7 Clemson on Friday, Dec. 30 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla. The game begin at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN.