A quartet of Texas players were amongst 55 players named to the John Mackey Award preseason watch list, the John Mackey Award selection committee announced on Tuesday. The award annually recognizes the nation’s top tight end.
Eight semifinalists will be unveiled in November and three finalists will be selected a week later. This year’s winner will be announced in December. Presented since 2000, no player from Texas has ever won the award.
Here are the Lone Star State based nominees:
Jordan Feuerbacher — Baylor, Kingwood Park
Feuerbacher has played in 29 career games with 10 starts. A native of Kingwood, Texas, he nabbed seven receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns in 2016. According to preseason depth charts, he is a favorite to start in coach Matt Rhule’s new system.
Gabe Schrade — Texas State
Schrade rounded out the top-five in Bobcats receiving yards (286) and notched the second most in touchdowns (2). The junior was endorsed as Texas State’s team captain.
Durham Smythe — Notre Dame, Belton
Smythe has just 13 career receptions, but a strong spring has him poised for a potential breakout year. While a high school senior at Belton, Smythe accounted for 547 yards and six TDs, contributing to a Tigers team that averaged 31.6 ppg.
Shaq Williams — UTSA
After redshirting in 2015, Williams had a hot early start to his junior year, snagging five receptions for 100 yards and a team-leading 20.0 yards per catch in his first three contests. The Jackson, Miss., native finished the season with a more modest 158 yards (12.2 avg.) and two touchdowns.
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