Mountain West Football: Five TEs Named To 2019 Mackey Award Watch List
The list of those in the running to be college football’s best tight end includes five from the Mountain West.
The competition will be fierce.
Watch list season reached its midway point today with the release of the Mackey Award watch list. Given annually to the nation’s best tight end, there are five names from the Mountain West that should be legitimate contenders for the honor.
Fresno State’s Jared Rice, who also made the Biletnikoff Award watch list, returns as the conference’s number one tight end after securing second-team all-conference honors last fall. He finished 2018 as the Bulldogs’ second-best receiver, catching 55 passes for 664 yards, with a 73.3% catch rate, and three touchdowns.
Boise State’s John Bates also made the Mackey watch list after a solid performance in a small sample. Though he caught just 10 passes in 2018, he finished with 155 yards and a touchdown, meaning he should give the new Broncos quarterback a reliable target over the middle of the field.
Cameron Butler also made the cut after a solid season at Colorado State. Though Preston Williams and Olabisi Johnson saw most of the work in the passing game, Butler finished his junior campaign by catching 29 passes for 312 yards. He could see a jump in production as CSU figures out how to redistribute last year’s targets.
He’s joined by Rams teammate Trey McBride, who could also play a key role in this year’s revamped offense. In 2018, McBride had seven catches for 89 yards and a score.
Parker Houston, too, wasn’t the number one option at San Diego State in 2018 but had a fine season behind recent NFL draftee Kahale Warring. Though he had just 20 targets, he managed an 80% catch rate with 16 receptions for 178 yards and two touchdowns.
Last year’s Mackey Award winner was former Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson.