If you haven’t seen senior Ilir Emini’s incredible catch from the game against Lawrence University, you’re in luck. It’s being played on Sports Center, ESPN, Fox Sports and CBS Sports, to name a few.
“I have one mentality whenever the ball is thrown to me,” Emini said. “[The ball] is mine and I need to come down with it. That’s all I was trying to do, come down with it any way possible.”
Emini did just that, turning to receive sophomore Matt McCaffrey’s pass late in the fourth quarter, inadvertently kicking the ball over his defender and catching it while on his back. The Prairie Fire succeeded in beating Lawrence University solidly 20-6.
The video has exploded across the Internet, gaining much attention and praise.
First aired as opening footage on Tuesday evening’s Sports Center, host Scott Van Pelt showed disbelief in Emini’s athleticism and focus, calling it “the best thing I saw, frankly, in a while.”
Since Tuesday night, the footage has appeared on a majority of sports coverage websites as well as journals like USA Today. Sports Radio ESPN’s headline reads “DIII receiver makes catch of the year,” while the Las Vegas Journal calls it “arguably the best catch in Division III football history.” Many have posed the question, “Is this the best college football catch this season?” The best or not, sportscasters and fans can’t seem to get enough.
“It’s a cool feeling! I have been shocked by all the attention it received. I’m just glad we won the game. It would have been harder to enjoy it this much in a loss.”
Emini says he will attempt to top his now-famous play every time he steps on the field, leaving us to wonder what else he may have up his sleeve.