A senior from Miami, Fla., Varner will aim to become the first player in ACC history with three seasons of 60 or more pass receptions in 2011. A first team All-ACC choice as a sophomore in 2009, he enters his senior season with 146 career receptions for 1,947 yards and 10 touchdowns. Varner, who has caught at least one pass in 25 consecutive games dating back to the 2008 campaign, is 43 catches shy of the all-time Duke record of 189 held by Clarkston Hines.
A junior wide receiver from Miami, Fla., Vernon was a second team all-conference choice last year after pacing the ACC in receptions with 73. Nationally, he ranked among the top 30 players in both receptions per game (6.08; 24th) and receiving yards per game (81.1; 29th) as his catch total fell one shy of equaling the Duke single-season standard of 74 set by Wes Chesson in 1970. A consensus preseason first team All-ACC pick in 2011, Vernon has 128 career receptions for 1,719 yards and seven touchdowns.
Duke is one of seven schools nationally with multiple players on the watch list, joining Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU and Texas A&M. Varner and Vernon are among nine representatives from the ACC along with Travis Benjamin (Miami), Jarrett Boykin (Virginia Tech), Kris Burd (Virginia), Chris Givens (Wake Forest), DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson), Dwight Jones (North Carolina) and Bobby Swegert (Boston College).
Previous winners of the award include Bobby Engram (1994; Penn State), Terry Glenn (1995; Ohio State), Marcus Harris (Wyoming; 1996), Randy Moss (Marshall; 1997), Troy Edwards (Louisiana Tech; 1998), Troy Walters (Stanford; 1999), Antonio Bryant (Pittsburgh; 2000), Josh Reed (LSU; 2001), Charles Rogers (Michigan State; 2002), Larry Fitzgerald (Pittsburgh; 2003), Braylon Edwards (Michigan; 2004), Mike Hass (Oregon State; 2005), Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech; 2006), Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech; 2007 & 2008), Golden Tate (Notre Dame; 2009) and Juston Blackmon (Oklahoma State, 2010).
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.