Chris Brown on Mackey list

The 2007 John Mackey Award watch list has been released by the Nassau County Sports Commission and Tennessee senior Chris Brown made the early cut. Given annually to the best collegiate tight end, the award recipient is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee and announced in mid-December.

Brown caught 31 passes last season for 239 yards, both figures good for fourth-best on the team. And with the departure of Tennessee's top three receivers from 2006, Brown expects to play a lead role this season.

He finished 2007 on a high note with a career high seven catches for 66 yards in the Outback Bowl. Brown is a communications studies major from Destrehan, La.

The Vols are well-stocked at tight end. In addition to Chris Brown, senior Brad Cottam was the team's fifth-leading pass-catcher a year ago with 14 receptions for 182 yards. Senior David Holbert and sophomore Jeff Cottam also expect to play big parts in the Tennessee passing game.

The John Mackey Award presented since 2000, lists six NFL players as alumni: Dallas Clark ('01) of the 2007 Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts, two-time Super Bowl Champion Daniel Graham ('02) of the Denver Broncos, Kellen Winslow Jr. ('03) of the Cleveland Browns, Heath Miller ('04) of the 2006 Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, Marcedes Lewis ('05) of the Jacksonville Jaguars and 2006 John Mackey Award recipient Matt Spaeth of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

2007 John Mackey Award Watch List: Gary Barnidge, Louisville; Travis Beckum, Wisconsin; Martellus Bennett, Texas A&M; CHRIS BROWN, TENNESSEE; Eric Butler, Mississippi State; John Carlson, Notre Dame; Chase Coffman, Missouri; Jeff Cumberland, Illinois; Fred Davis, Southern California; Brody Eldridge, Oklahoma; DajLeon Farr, Miami (Fla.); Jermichael Finley, Texas; Joey Haynos, Maryland; Anthony Hill, North Carolina State; Darius Hill, Ball State; Chris Hopkins, Toledo; Dustin Keller, Purdue; Branden Ledbetter, Western Michigan; Tony Moeaki, Iowa; Shawn Nelson, Southern Mississippi; Bear Pascoe, Fresno State; Logan Paulsen, UCLA; Brandon Pettigrew, Oklahoma State; Andrew Quarless, Penn State; Martin Rucker, Missouri; Tom Santi, Virginia; Cody Slate, Marshall; Kory Sperry, Colorado State; Craig Stevens, California; Jacob Tamme, Kentucky; Zeek Zacharie, Louisiana-Monroe.

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