2016 Mackey Award watch list led by OJ Howard, Bucky Hodges

With the 2016 college football season just around the corner, the Maxwell Football Club continues to announce the preseason watch lists for the most prestigious awards in the nation. On Wednesday, the Mackey Award had its preseason front-runners identified.

The award — which is presented annually to college football’s most outstanding tight end — also goes the player who exemplifies the play, sportsmanship, academics, and community values of NFL Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey.

This year’s list features a number of talented tight ends, notably Alabama’s OJ Howard and Bucky Hodges of Virginia Tech.

Oregon’s Pharaoh Brown also returns to the field this year, and could be a viable contender for the award.

Last season, the Mackey Award went to Arkansas’ Hunter Henry, who went on to be a second-round selection by the San Diego Chargers in the 2016 NFL Draft.

The full Mackey Award watch list for the 2016 season can be seen below:

Jeb Blazevich, Georgia
Pharaoh Brown, Oregon
Barrett Burns, Appalachian State
Jake Butt, Michigan
Cethan Carter, Nebraska
Connor Cella, Rice
C.J. Conrad, Kentucky
Buck Cowan, Idaho
Darrell Daniels, Washington
Elkanah Dillon, USF
D.J. Dowdy, Cincinnati
Evan Engram, Ole Miss
Gerald Everett, South Alabama
Billy Freeman, San Jose State
Mike Gesicki, Penn State
Jarred Gipson, Nevada
DeAndre Goolsby, Florida
Cole Hikutini, Louisville
Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech
Wyatt Houston, Utah State
O.J. Howard, Alabama
Ryan Izzo, Florida State
Blake Jarwin, Oklahoma State
Ben Johnson, Kansas
Alize Jones, Notre Dame
George Kittle, Iowa
Kody Kohl, Arizona State
Jordan Leggett, Clemson
Brandon Lingen, Minnesota
Troy Mangen, Ohio
Hayden Plinke, UTEP
Josiah Price, Michigan State
Michael Roberts, Toledo
Jake Roh, Boise State
Keith Rucker, Georgia State
Mason Schreck, Buffalo
Dalton Schultz, Stanford
Cam Serigne, Wake Forest
Jonnu Smith, Florida International
Jeremy Sprinkle, Arkansas
Todd Stafford, Massachusetts
Colin Thompson, Temple
Cody Tuttle, Eastern Michigan
Ethan Wolf, Tennessee
Ryan Yurachek, Marshall

Who do you think should be the leaders to bring home the award? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts and predictions on the upcoming season.

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