The 6-foot-5, 245-pound tight end from Ohio was one of 45 players recognized by the watch list coming off a freshman season which saw him catch 15 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown. He is expected to be a major weapon in the system of new UK offensive coordinator Eddie Gran this season.
Only five sophomores were named to the watch list.
The award recipient is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee and will be announced Dec. 7 and then presented live on Dec. 8 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on ESPNU.
National Football League Hall of Fame member John Mackey is considered to be among the best to have ever played the tight end position.
The John Mackey Award presented since 2000, recognizes 14 alumni that have played in the NFL: two-time Super Bowl Champion Daniel Graham (‘01), 2006 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Clark (‘02), Kellen Winslow II (‘03), two-time Super Bowl Champion Heath Miller (‘04), Marcedes Lewis (‘05) of the Jacksonville Jaguars, 2008 Super Bowl Champion Matt Spaeth (‘06) of the of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Fred Davis (‘07), Chase Coffman (‘08), D.J. Williams (‘10), Dwayne Allen (’11) of the Indianapolis Colts, Tyler Eifert (’12) of the Cincinnati Bengals, Austin Seferian-Jenkins (’13) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Nick O’Leary (’14) of the Buffalo Bills and 2015 John Mackey Award recipient Hunter Henry of the San Diego Chargers.
Kentucky will open the 2016 season Saturday, Sept. 3, at 7:30 p.m. ET against Southern Miss at Commonwealth Stadium. The game will be televised live on ESPNU.