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Monday, November 14, 2011
Two Big Ten TEs are Mackey semifinalists

By Adam Rittenberg

Wisconsin's Jacob Pedersen and Northwestern's Drake Dunsmore are among the eight semifinalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end. The Big Ten is the only conference with multiple semifinalists.

Pedersen, a sophomore, has had a huge year for Wisconsin, recording 27 receptions for 323 yards and eight touchdowns, which ties WR Nick Toon for the team lead. Pedersen has been a major target for QB Russell Wilson in the red zone.

Dunsmore, a senior, leads Big Ten tight ends with 40 receptions for 426 yards and six touchdowns. He ranks second on the team in all three categories. Dunsmore has recorded 40 or more catches in each of the past three seasons.

Finalists for the Mackey Award will be named Nov. 21.

There are no obvious snubs in the Big Ten. Ohio State's Jake Stoneburner has six touchdown catches but only 12 total receptions on the season.