Nebraska junior tight end Mike McNeill is one of 30 tight ends who have been named to the watch list for the 2009 John Mackey Award. The Mackey Award is named after NFL Hall of Famer John Mackey and is given annually to the nation's best collegiate tight end.
McNeill had a breakout sophomore season for Nebraska
in 2008. He finished the year with 32 receptions for 442 yards and six touchdowns. His 32 catches were a Nebraska tight end record, while his six touchdowns were just one shy of the school position record. He caught at least one pass in each of the final 11 games and had eight games with at least three receptions.
McNeill is one of five tight ends from the Big 12 Conference on the watch list, joining Colorado's Rian Geer, Jermaine Gresham of Oklahoma, Texas' Blaine Irby and Jeron Mastrud of Kansas State. The Mackey Award has been presented since 2000, and eight winners of the award are currently on NFL rosters.
The winner of the 2009 John Mackey Award will be announced on Dec. 10, 2009.