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2012 Mackey Award Watch List

Arkansas tight end Chriss Gragg is one of the top tight ends in the country. Will he win the Mackey Award? Photo: Getty Images

Nation’s top tight ends unveiled on watch list

Arkansas tight end Chriss Gragg is one of the top tight ends in the country. Will he win the Mackey Award? Photo: Getty Images

The Nassau County Sports Commission released the pre-season watch list for the John Mackey Award, which is presented annually to college football’s bets tight end.

2012 John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List

  • Alex Bayer,  Bowling Green
  • Ted Bolser, Indiana *
  • Chase Clement, LSU
  • Jack Doyle, WKU *
  • Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame *
  • Gavin Escobar, San Diego State
  • Joseph Fauria, UCLA
  • C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa
  • Brandon Ford, Clemson
  • Matt Furstenburg, Maryland
  • Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State
  • Chris Gragg, Arkansas
  • Hubie Graham, Pittsburgh
  • Ryan Griffin, Connecticut *
  • Chase Harper, Texas State
  • Garrett Hoskins, Eastern Michigan
  • Malcolm Johnson, Mississippi State *
  • Phil Lutzenkirchen, Auburn
  • Ryan Najvar, Baylor
  • Ryan Otten, San Jose State
  • Chris Pantale, Boston College *
  • Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin
  • Mike Ragone, Kansas
  • Kyler Reed, Nebraska *
  • Lucus Reed, New Mexico *
  • Jordan Reed, Florida
  • Mychal Rivera, Tennessee
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
  • Dion Sims, Michigan State
  • Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State *
  • Levine Toilolo, Stanford
  • Michael Williams, Alabama *
  • Luke Willson, Rice *

* – Denotes student-athletes that also appeared on 2011 Mackey Award Preseason watch list.

The John Mackey Award was first presented in 2000 to Purdue’s Tim Stratton and has seen a different school win the award each year. It is named after Pro Football Hall of Fame player John Mackey, who played college football for Syracuse and would go on to be named to the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team. Syracuse retired Mackey’s #88 in 2007. He is still regarded as the best tight end to have played the game of football by many. Mackey died last July at the age of 69 after a bout with frontotemporal dementia. Mackey’s health helped pave the way for the NFL Player’s Association to provide $88,000 a year for nursing home care to former players.

A mid-season watch list will be released on October 15, 2012. Semi-finalists will be named on November 12, 2012 and that list will be trimmed to three finalists a week later on November 19. The 2012 Mackey Award winner will be announced during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards show on December 6, 2012 in Orlando.

Clemson’s Dwayne Allen was the recipient of the Mackey Award in 2011. Allen caught 49 passes for 592 yards and eight touchdowns for the Tigers last season, leading all ACC tight ends in receiving yards. The Indianapolis Colts, the same franchise Mackey won a Super Bowl with, drafted Allen in this year’s NFL Draft. The Colts also drafted a previous Mackey Award winner before Allen. Iowa’s Dallas Clark won the award in 2002 and was drafted by Indianapolis in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft, where he became a dependable and steady option for Peyton Manning on the long path to another Super Bowl championship for the Colts.

Past Mackey Award Winners

  • 2011 – Dwayne Allen, Clemson
  • 2010 – D.J. Williams, Arkansas
  • 2009 – Aaron Hernandez, Florida
  • 2008 – Chase Coffman, Missouri
  • 2007 – Fred Davis, USC
  • 2006 – Matt Spaeth, Minnesota
  • 2005 – Marcedes Lewis, UCLA
  • 2004 – Heath Miller, Virginia
  • 2003 – Kellen Winslow Jr., Miami
  • 2002 – Dallas Clark, Iowa
  • 2001 – Daniel Graham, Colorado
  • 2000 – Tim Stratton, Purdue

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.