Six Mountain West Tight Ends Named to Mackey Award Watchlist
Dax Raymond, Jared Rice, Josh Oliver, Cameron Butler, John Bates and Kahale Warring make the cut among the nation’s best tight ends.
With so many options, can the MWC surprise here this fall?
Watchlist season continues this morning with the unveiling of the John Mackey Award watchlist. Given annually to the nation’s best tight end, there are just two names from the Mountain West on this year’s preseason list.
The list is headlined by Utah State’s Dax Raymond, who emerged as a weapon in an increasingly explosive Aggies attack last fall. He led among Mountain West tight ends with 41 catches, a 68% catch rate, and 456 yards, scoring one touchdown.
San Jose State’s Josh Oliver is another veteran pass-catcher who could make some noise this fall. As a junior, he had 35 catches for 296 yards and a score, leading the Spartans with a 62% catch rate.
Fresno State’ Jared Rice was a weapon down the stretch for the Bulldogs, catching 15 of his 22 passes on the season in the last five games of the year for an average of 16.3 yards per catch.
San Diego State’s Kahale Warring blocked for one of the country’s best running attacks but also became a reliable target for Christian Chapman, finishing third among Aztecs receivers with 18 catches for 243 yards and first with three touchdowns.
Finally, a pair of sophomores, Boise State’s John Bates and Colorado State’s Cameron Butler, are in line to play much bigger roles for the Broncos and Rams, respectively. Bates caught just three passes, though they were all in the back-to-back matchups against Fresno State at the end of the year. Butler, meanwhile, caught 12 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns.
Last year’s John Mackey Award winner was former Arkansas tight end Mark Andrews.