College football: Former Waverider, UH standout pass catcher Ursua on Biletnikoff watch list

  • UH Manoa photo
    Former Kealakehe Waverider John Ursua led the nation in receiving yards per game in 2017.

Watch out for John Ursua, college football world.

The University of Hawaii junior wide receiver has been named to the Biletnikoff Award Preseason Watch List, as announced by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation on Thursday. The award annually recognizes the outstanding receiver in college football.


This is the second straight year that Ursua is on the watch list. As a sophomore, he was an in-season addition to the watch list after a phenomenal start to the 2017 season.

The former Kealakehe standout led the nation in receiving yards per game (130.6) and was second in receptions per game (9.2) before suffering a season-ending injury against San Jose State on Oct. 14. Despite missing half the season, he still finished as the team’s leader in receiving yards (667) and receiving touchdowns (5).

He recorded three 100-yard receiving performances in six games last year, including a 12-catch, 272-yard performance in UH’s season-opening win at UMass (Aug. 26). The 272 yards was the single-game high nationally in 2017 and fourth-best receiving performance in UH and Mountain West history.

This season, the Warriors are switching from a hybrid offense to a four-wide scheme they used from 1999 through 2011, assuring there won’t be any shortage of targets for Ursua.

Ursua helped the Waveriders to a BIIF title his freshman year before moving to Utah, where he graduated from Cedar High School in 2012. Before enrolling at UH, he served a two-year church mission in France.


A total of ten Biletnikoff Award semifinalists will be announced on Nov. 12 and three finalists will be declared on Nov. 20. The 2018 Biletnikoff Award winner will be presented live on December 6 on The Home Depot College Football Awards broadcast live on ESPN.

For complete details and updates throughout the season, as well as a fan vote and discussion board, visit