Thursday, July 7, 2011
Mackey Award list features Big 12 snub
By David Ubben
The Mackey Award, given annually to college football's top tight end, has released its watch list, and here are the Big 12 players who made it.
Egnew was a finalist last year, and Biere has the pieces to be a playmaker for the Jayhawks, but I smell a big snub.
Where's Oklahoma's James Hanna? You probably last saw him sprinting down the left sideline at Boone Pickens Stadium for an 82-yard touchdown that put the Big 12 South on ice for the Sooners, but he finished the year with 18 catches for 292 yards and seven touchdowns.
Biere, meanwhile, had 19 catches for 228 yards and four scores.
Hanna's seven touchdowns were tied for third-most among tight ends nationally and were two more than even Egnew, who was a finalist for the award in 2010. Of course, Egnew also caught 90 passes for 762 yards, the most among tight ends, but you see the point.
Hanna isn't excluded from winning the award if he has a breakout 2011 season, but he deserved a bit of preseason recognition.
The last Big 12 player to take home the award was Missouri's Chase Coffman in 2008. Hanna would be the first player from his school to win the award since its inception in 2000. The same is true for Biere -- the Jayhawks have never had a Mackey Award winner.
Egnew has a great shot to be a finalist once again as a huge piece to Missouri's passing game, and if the Tigers find a deep threat in their offense this year to stretch the field, he might become an even more valuable part of the offense as a safety blanket for a first-time starter, James Franklin.
John Mackey, for whom the award is named, was the second tight end ever inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, and died on Wednesday.