The 2011 college football season is nearly upon us, but the season for preseason watch lists is already in full swing. And the 2011 Mackey Award watch list has singled out 33 of the nation's top tight ends.
Among the bigger names on the John Mackey Award watch list are Philip Lutzenkirchen of Auburn, Orson Charles of Georgia, Coby Fleener of Stanford, Kevin Koger of Michigan, David Paulson of Oregon and Jake Stoneburner of Ohio State. Past winners of the award have included current NFL stars Dallas Clark, Kellen Winslow, and Heath Miller.
The Mackey Award, given annually to the nation's most outstanding tight end, was instituted in 2001 and is named after former Syracuse and Baltimore Colts tight end John Mackey. The last two recipients of the award, Arkansas' D.J. Williams in 2010 and Florida's Aaron Hernandez in 2009, hailed from the SEC. You can find the full 2011 Mackey Award watch list here.