Can Bama's Mikey Win The Mackey?

Regardless of what you might have heard, sportswriters work hard to get the facts right. Therefore, in a brief interview opportunity with Alabama's tight end, the question was: "Do you prefer to be called ‘Michael' or ‘Mike'?" The answer: "Coach Saban calls me ‘Mikey.'"

Alabama tight end Michael Williams (or Mike or Mikey – he said he didn't have a preference) may be called Mackey Award Winner at the end of the 2011 football season. That's because Williams is on the watch list for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top college tight end.

Williams, a 6-6, 270-pound upcoming junior from Reform, started every game for Bama last year after being the top back-up to Colin Peek in the Crimson Tide's 2009 season. Last year he had eight receptions for 100 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown pass from Marquis Maze in a wildcat formation play against Florida.

Although Williams came to Alabama from Pickens County High School expecting to be a defensive end, after a redshirt season in 2008 he has developed into one of the nation's best tight end performers, both as a blocker and pass receiver. He has played in all 27 Tide games since the 2009 season.

There are 34 tight ends from across the nation on the watch list for this year's Mackey Award, which is presented by the Nassau County (N.Y.) Sports Commission. It has been presented since 2000.

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