Canes In Running For Awards

University of Miami junior Jeremy Shockey is among six players that have been named as semifinalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the premier tight end in college football, the Nassau County Sports Association announced earlier this week.

The list will be cut down to three finalist on Dec. 5 and the winner will be declared Dec. 15 at the Long Island Marriott. Among the other semi-finalist: Daniel Graham (Colorado), Justin Peelle (Oregon), Trent Smith (Oklahoma), Tim Stratton (Purdue) and Tracy Wistrom (Nebraska).

Shockey is on pace to set a new UM single-season record for receiving yards and touchdown catches by a tight end. Shockey, a first-team All-Big East selection last season, has developed a big-play mentality since coming to Miami with important touchdown receptions against Florida State (2000) and this past January against Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

Shockey's nine career touchdowns ranks him third in school history ahead of current UM offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. Shockey is sixth all-time in receptions (57) and receiving yards (755) on the Hurricanes list. His excellent blocker has also aided the Hurricanes protection of quarterback Ken Dorsey, who has been sacked once all year.

Mackey, a Nassau County native and graduate of Syracuse University, had a 10-year career in the NFL. Mackey was only the second tight end to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is widely regarded as one of the best tight ends ever. Mackey was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time All-NFL player in addition to playing in two Super Bowls with the Baltimore Colts.

Canes left tackle Bryant McKinnie, along with Toniu Fonoli of Nebraska and John Henderson of Tennessee, were all named finalists for the 2001 Outland Trophy. Henderson won the award last year as the nation's top interior lineman in college football.

McKinnie, 6-9 and 335 pounds, has never allowed a sack in close to two years at the University of Miami and keys an offense that is averaging 5.5 yards per rushing attempt. McKinnie's dominating performance against Syracuse All-American defensive end Dwight Freeney led to a 59-0 victory and 331 yards rushing by the Hurricanes.

Henderson, a 6-7, 290-pound senior defensive tackle, is looking to become only the second player in the 56-year history of the award to repeat as the Outland Trophy winner since Dave Rimington (Nebraska) won the award in 1981-82. Henderson is a key figure in the Volunteers defense, which ranks in the top-10 against the rush. Earlier this season, Henderson recorded his 20th sack all-time at Tennessee. He has also recorded two recovered fumbles this year.

Fonoti, a 6-4, 340-pound offensive left guard, already has established Nebraska's single season record with 182 pancake blocks (16.5 ppg) in 11 games as of last Friday. Fonoti, a junior, has helped the Cornhuskers average a nation's leading 311.1 rushing yards per game and set the Cornhuskers' single-game pancake record with 32 against Texas Tech in October. With a big bowl game, Fonoti could break the career record of 377 pancakes set by 1997 Outland Trophy winner Aaron Taylor.

UM junior quarterback Ken Dorsey has been selected as a finalist for the Walter Camp Award, given to college football's player of the year, along with Eric Crouch (Nebraska), Rex Grossman and Roy Williams (Oklahoma).

Camp, recognized as the ‘Father of American Football', introduced many innovations that brought about the evolution of the style of the game. The award is scheduled to be presented Dec. 6 on ESPN, with the winner strongly viewed as a front-runner to capture the Heisman Trophy as well.

Junior Freddie Capshaw is one of three finalists for the Ray Guy award, recognizing the nation's top collegiate punter. Joining the Hurricanes punter on the short list are Travis Dorsch (Purdue) and Jeff Ferguson (Oklahoma).

Capshaw has punted 30 times this season, averaging 42.0 yards per punt. Capshaw's longest punt of the season 59 and his four punts for a 48.2 average against Florida State earned him Big East Special Teams player of the week. Ten of his punts this season have traveled 50 or more yards. "Freddie has been a vital part of our success this season," said UM head coach Larry Coker. "He consistently pins our opponents deep in their end of the field and his excellent hang time is a major reason for the success of our punt coverage unit. He's developed into one of the most dangerous components of our team."

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