Big East players on Rimington, Mackey lists

Several Big East players have caught the eye of national voters for the Rimington and Mackey Awards, which released their respective watch lists Tuesday.

First up: the Rimington Award, presented annually to the best center in the nation.

They are:

All three are deserving of the recognition. Benavides has been a stalwart for the Cardinals, playing through several injuries to start 34 career games headed into his senior season. MacPherson and Turnley each moved into the starting lineup last season and should be better in 2012.

Now here are the Big East reps for the Mackey Award, presented annually to the best tight end in college football.

Griffin is the best tight end in the league, having made the All-Big East second team last season after catching 33 passes for 499 yards and three touchdowns. Graham was an important part of the Pitt offense last year, finishing third on the team with 28 catches for 325 yards and three touchdowns. But he played more of an H-back role last year. This year, he will be a true tight end in the Paul Chryst system and should reap the benefits.