Mountain West Football: Two Player Named To John Mackey Award Watch List
Could one of two players from the Mountain West emerge as the country’s top tight end again?
Running it back.
The Mountain West Conference laid claim to a rare major college football award last winter when Colorado State’s Trey McBride took home the John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s best tight end. Now, a pair of athletes from the conference hope to make it two years in a row.
San Jose State’s Sam Olson and San Diego State’s Mark Redman were named to this year’s Mackey Award preseason watch list this morning. Olson saw time in just two games last year while the Spartans relied mostly on Derrick Deese Jr. at the position, but he’s flashed big-time playmaking potential in his brief stints on the field over the past two seasons with nine catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns between 2020 and 2021. That includes a long touchdown catch in last year’s season opener against Southern Utah, so while it’s likely he’ll share playing time with Dominick Mazotti and others this fall, big things are clearly expected.
That’s also true of Redman, who transferred to the Aztecs after spending two seasons with the Washington Huskies. He was a four-star recruit out of Corona del Mar High School in California, however, and he made 149 catches in high school career before seeing action in 16 games, though he caught just one pass over the last two years. He and Jay Rudolph and Aaron Greene are the likeliest candidates to replace Daniel Bellinger, who was drafted by the New York Giants this spring in the NFL Draft, but the advantage of having good hands could be what separates him from his peers and makes him invaluable to Jeff Hecklinski’s offense.