Winslow Wins 2003 John Mackey Award

University of Miami junior tight end Kellen Winslow (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch) has been named the winner of the 2003 John Mackey Award honoring college football's top tight end, the Nassau County (N.Y.) Sports Commission announced today. Winslow is the first Miami player to ge chosen for the honor, which has recognized college football's best tight end since 2000.

Winslow finished ahead of Ben Troupe of Florida and Kris Wilson of Pittsburgh in the voting. The John Mackey Award selection committee is composed of national sportswriters, commentators and outstanding NFL players.

"It's an honor and a thrill to be named the 2003 Mackey Award winner," Winslow said. "I want to make sure to thank my coaches and teammates, as well as my family, for supporting me throughout my life, especially through this season. I wouldn't have any success without the help of my coaches, teammates and family. The John Mackey Award means so much to me and I hope I can live up to his legacy as the 2003 winner."

"All of us at the University of Miami feel that Kellen is the best tight end in the country and we are certainly happy to see him be recognized as such," Miami head coach Larry Coker said. "Kellen is one of the most competitive and complete tight ends I've ever been associated with."

Winslow will receive the 2003 Mackey Award at the NCSC's Annual Awards Dinner at the Chateau Briand in Carle Place, New York, on April 19, 2004. The John Mackey Award was created by the NCSC under the guidance of board member Don McPherson, a county native and former NFL and Syracuse University All-American quarterback. Mackey, also a Nassau County native, is regarded as one of the best athletes to have played the position of tight end. In addition to being an NFL Hall of Famer, he is also a Super Bowl winner (Baltimore, Super Bowl V) and was the first President of the NFLPA.

Winslow's exceptional talent as a total football player is exemplified by his outstanding blocking ability, a skill he has shown on offense and special teams. Also on special teams, Winslow has stood out as a big-play performer. He blocked a punt against Syracuse and impressed a national television audience with his blocking ability on offense and special teams in the win over Pittsburgh, throwing a key block to spring tailback Jason Geathers for a 78-yard gain on a screen pass that set up a Miami touchdown.

The junior has led or tied for the team lead in receptions in eight games this season and has tied the UM record for career receptions by a tight end with 114. He currently ranks second in UM history for career receiving yards by a tight end with 1,317, is third in UM history for career touchdown catches by a tight end with nine, and is tied for second in UM history for career 100-yard receiving games by a tight end with 3.

Winslow leads the Hurricanes with 55 catches for 557 yards and one touchdown, averaging 10.1 yards per catch. Earlier this season against West Virginia (Oct. 2), Winslow turned in the second-best receiving performance of his career with 10 catches for 104 yards, including a game-saving 18-yard reception on fourth down and 18 that led to Miami's game-winning field goal. A week later, he made seven catches for 106 yards in the 22-14 win at Florida State, despite playing in a torrential downpour on a rain-soaked field.

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