Wide Receiver
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 190
Year: Sophomore
City/State: Ft. Collins, Colo.
High School: Loveland


  • 2003 Second-Team Academic All-Big 12
  • NU Frosh Receiving Yards Record (301, 2002)
  • 2002 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches)
  • 2002 First-Team Freshman All-Big 12 (The Sporting News)
  • 2002 Big 12 Commissioner's Fall Academic Honor Roll
  • 2002 Big 12 Commissioner's Spring Academic Honor Roll

2004 Outlook
Ross Pilkington has been a go-to-receiver for Nebraska in each of the past two seasons and figures to have an increased role as the Huskers feature a more pass-oriented attack in 2004. The Colorado native is one of four Husker receivers with extensive playing time heading into the fall and emerged from spring practice as Nebraska's No. 1 "X" receiver.

The 6-0, 185-pound Pilkington has the all-around talents to succeed in NU's offense. He has the speed to be a deep threat for the Huskers, but also the toughness and good hands to make difficult catches across the middle. Pilkington has also been a strong perimeter blocker during his Husker career.

Pilkington started all 13 games at "X" receiver in 2003, and tied for the team lead in receptions with 22 catches for 338 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown at Southern Miss. He had five receptions against Utah State and totaled seven games with two or more catches. Pilkington capped the year with three receptions for 70 yards against Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl.

He played in all 14 games as a reserve split end in 2002, and finished with 14 receptions for 301 yards. His only touchdown was a 90-yarder at Iowa State, NU's longest pass play since 1965 and the third longest in school history. A former minor leaguer with the Colorado Rockies organization for two years, Pilkington earned second-team academic All-Big 12 honors in 2003.

2003 (Sophomore)
Pilkington was in the starting lineup in all 13 of Nebraska's contests last season. He finished the year with 22 receptions to tie tight end Matt Herian for the team lead. He had two or more receptions in seven games, and his catches went for 338 yards, an average of 15.4 yards per receptions. He hauled in a 44-yard touchdown reception at Southern Miss, giving the Huskers a 24-7 third-quarter advantage.

He caught at least one pass in each of the season's first six games, including a career-high five catches for 57 yards in a 31-7 victory over Utah State. He hauled in three passes for 56 yards at Southern Miss, including a touchdown catch from Jammal Lord. Pilkington went three consecutive games without a catch at midseason, but had eight receptions in the season's final four games, including two each against Kansas State and Colorado to close the regular season. He capped his sophomore year with three receptions for 70 yards in the Alamo Bowl, including a 40-yard catch, his second-longest grab of the year. Pilkington's dominant blocking ability was most evident on Josh Davis' 42-yard scamper against Penn State, when Pilkington knocked down two Nittany Lion defenders downfield.

2002 (Freshman)
Pilkington played in all 14 games as Nebraska's No. 2 split end and finished with 14 receptions for 301 yards, an average of 21.5 yards per catch. His reception and yardage totals both ranked second on the team behind senior wideout Wilson Thomas. Pilkington's performance earned him first-team freshman All-Big 12 recogniton from The Sporting News.

Pilkington’s 14 catches bettered the previous freshman record of 12, held by I-backs Ahman Green (1995) and DeAngelo Evans (1996). The 301 receiving yards Pilkington totaled matched fellow 2002 freshman Matt Herian for a Nebraska freshman receiving yardage record.

His only touchdown came on a 90-yard reception at Iowa State, marking the third-longest reception in school history and Nebraska's longest pass play since 1965. Pilkington had a season-high three catches for 54 yards against McNeese State, while catching two passes each against Utah State, Penn State and Texas A&M. He had a streak of eight straight games with at least one catch during the season.

Before Nebraska (Loveland HS/Colorado Rockies Organization)
Pilkington originally signed a letter of intent with Nebraska in February of 2000, but opted out of his scholarship, signing a professional baseball contract with the Colorado Rockies. Colorado selected him in the 20th round of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft in 2000. In two seasons in the minor leagues (2000 in Arizona Rookie League and 2001 Pioneer League in Casper, Wyo.), Pilkington hit .250 in 70 games with two home runs and 27 RBIs. The outfielder struggled with an arm injury that would have required surgery if he continued to play baseball. He instead decided to give up baseball and go to school to play football and enrolled at Nebraska in January of 2002.

Pilkington was a high school teammate of former Husker I-back Josh Davis at Loveland. Despite missing several games his senior season because of a torn MCL, Pilkington was an all-state wide receiver for Coach John Poovey and earned honorable-mention All-America honors from USA Today. In his career as a receiver and return specialist, Pilkington totaled more than 2,500 yards and 25 touchdowns, averaging 30 yards per touch. He played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Fort Collins High and picked Nebraska over Colorado State, Colorado, Oregon and Arizona State. He was also a three-time all-state baseball pick at shortstop.

The son of Greg and Jacque Pilkington, Ross was born on June 21, 1981. Ross' father played for the Nebraska freshman team in 1971, before an injury ended his football career. Ross is a business administration major. He was a second-team academic All-Big 12 pick last season and has twice been named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll. Pilkington has volunteered his time as a speaker with the Quality Living Program in Omaha.

Pilkington's Career Statistics















90 at Iowa State








44 at Southern Miss








90 at Iowa State


Rushing: 4-7-0, long 11 at Penn State, all in 2002

2002 Independence Bowl vs. Ole Miss: Receiving, 1-24-0
2003 Alamo Bowl vs. Michigan State: Receiving, 3-70-0

Single-Game Bests:
Receptions- 5 vs. Utah State, 2003
Receiving Yards- 90 at Iowa State, 2002
Long Reception- 90 at Iowa State, 2002 (TD)
TD Receptions- 1 at Iowa State, 2002; at Southern Miss, 2003
Number of Career Catches of 25-Plus Yards- 6; 2 in 2002, 4 in 2003


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