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Big 12 tight end talent lacking in 2010

Three players from the Big 12 made the watch list for the Mackey Award, presented to the nation's best tight end at the completion of the season.

I'm going to take a leap of faith here and assume that unless one of these three players plays for your team, you've probably never heard of them. I say that because the three Big 12 players on the list combined for 32 receptions, 317 yards and no touchdowns last season. Also, Jones no longer starts for Missouri; fellow junior Michael Egnew has assumed that role.

It's worth noting that none of the three earned any sort of All-Big 12 distinction in 2009.

Here's a look at their numbers from 2009:

  • Biere: 14 rec, 183 yards

  • Deehan: 10 rec, 91 yards

  • Jones: 8 rec, 43 yards

I should mention, with a new quarterback, Biere is probably the most likely of the three to have a breakout year, but don't count on any of these three making the trip to Orlando for the awards ceremony as a Mackey finalist this winter.

Obviously, if a guy like Texas' Barrett Matthews or Egnew has a big year, they won't be excluded from contention for the award, but more than anything, what the list reveals is this: If the conference's figurative tight end talent pool were a literal pool, you wouldn't be able to buy enough "No Diving" signs to get your point across.

That's a big change for a conference used to big-time talent at the position. Just in recent years, Oklahoma's Jermaine Gresham, Missouri's Chase Coffman and Martin Rucker, Oklahoma State's Brandon Pettigrew and Texas A&M's Martellus Bennett have been dominant at the position. A quick look across the conference doesn't reveal anyone who touches that group.

If a tight end for any team wants to step up in 2010, they won't have to beat out much for people to take notice.

Egnew and Matthews look like the two most likely candidates to do it.