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.
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.
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 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.
Pilkington's Career Statistics
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
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