Dickerson A Mackey Award Semifinalist

Pitt senior Dorin Dickerson has been named a semifinalist for the prestigious John Mackey Award, annually presented to the nation's top tight end by the Nassau County Sports Commission.

Dorin Dickerson (Imperial, Pa./West Allegheny) was one of eight semifinalists selected by a vote of the John Mackey Selection Committee. The other players include Ed Dickson (SR, Oregon), Aaron Hernandez (JR, Florida), Anthony McCoy (SR, USC), Tony Moeaki (SR, Iowa), Dennis Pitta (SR, BYU), Kyle Rudolph (SO, Notre Dame) and Cody Slate (SR, Marshall).

Dickerson ranks No. 1 among the nation's tight ends in touchdown catches with 10 for Pittsburgh. The next closest tight end has eight scores. Dickerson's 10 touchdowns established a single-season Pitt record for a tight end, eclipsing the mark of nine set by Kris Wilson in 2003. Wilson, now with the NFL's San Diego Chargers, was a Mackey Award finalist that year.

With two regular-season games remaining, Dickerson has 43 total receptions for 496 yards (11.5 yards per catch).

Earlier this season, Dickerson was selected the "John Mackey Tight End of the Week'' for his performance in the Panthers' 37-10 victory against Syracuse. He had a career-high 118 receiving yards on seven receptions (16.9 yards per catch) with a touchdown to help lead Pitt past the Orange.

The Nassau County Sports Commission will announce the finalists for the John Mackey Award Nov. 23. The winner will be announced at the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show Dec. 10. For additional information on the John Mackey Award, please visit www.johnmackeyaward.org or www.nassausports.org.

Ranked No. 8 by The Associated Press writers and No. 9 in the USA Today coaches' poll, Pitt has its highest November rankings since 1982. The Panthers moved up to ninth in this week's Bowl Championship Series ratings, their highest BCS listing since it was established.

Pitt has achieved its lofty rankings after winning six consecutive games to improve to 9-1 on the year, its best start since the 1982 Panthers. They were led by quarterback Dan Marino and also started with a 9-1 record.

Pitt has a bye this week before putting its undefeated Big East record (5-0) on the line Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. at West Virginia (7-3, 3-2). The game will be televised nationally by ESPN 2. Pitt concludes its regular season against Cincinnati (10-0, 6-0) Dec. 5 at Heinz Field. That game time has not been set.

The game against the Bearcats, who are rated fifth in this week's BCS standings, will determine the Big East Conference champion and BCS bowl big that accompanies it.

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