Bibbs Named John Mackey Award Semifinalist

Iowa State tight end E.J. Bibbs was named a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award on Monday

E.J. Bibbs has turned into a force for Iowa State this season, and the production hasn’t gone unnoticed across the country.

Bibbs, a senior who will likely be a mid-round selection in the NFL Draft, was named a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award on Monday, given to the best tight end in the country. The finalists — a group of three tight ends — will be named next Monday.

“I don’t get up here and speak very often about individuals, but he is certainly deserving of this recognition,” coach Paul Rhoads said to begin his Monday news conference. “He’s deserving of being a finalist for this award.”

Bibbs has racked a team-high 40 catches for 339 yards and seven touchdowns this season, two shy of the Iowa State single-season touchdown receptions record. His seven touchdown catches has him tied for 23rd nationally among all receivers.

The senior tight end has added a different element to the Iowa State offense, catching passes in 21 consecutive games.

“It adds a new dimension to a spread offense,” quarterback Sam Richardson said. “It’s a guy that you can spread out wide. He’s a big guy. But he’s versatile and he can run as well. He’s a guy that changes a spread offense a little bit.”

The other finalists for the award include Evan Engram (Mississippi), Ben Koyack (Notre Dame), Jimmay Mundine (Kansas), Nick O'Leary (Florida State), Jean Sifrin (Massachusetts), Clive Walford (Miami) and Maxx Williams (Minnesota).

Teammates who have watched Bibbs firsthand throughout the season have been just as impressed as the award committee.

“He has a drive like no one else” safety Kamari Cotton-Moya said. “His drive to be the best is just ridiculous. You can see it in his eyes and see it in his work ethic and see it in his leadership as a captain. You can just see him wanting everybody to strive for their best and he wants not only everyone, but himself to strive for the best.”

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