LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky sophomore tight end C.J. Conrad has been named one of 45 players to the 2016 John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List, which annually honors the most outstanding collegiate tight end,.
Conrad, who is one of five sophomores to make the preseason watch list, had a great first season for Kentucky, playing in all 12 games last fall with nine starts. The native of LaGrange, Ohio, led all Southeastern Conference tight ends with 15 catches for 149 yards and one touchdown. His best game came at Mississippi State when he caught six passes for 56 yards, while he had two games with three or more catches.
For his efforts, Conrad was named Freshman All-America Third Team by Athlon Sports and SEC All-Freshman Team by league coaches. Conrad is no stranger to praise from the John Mackey Award Committee as last season he was placed on the John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List and earned honorable mention Mackey Award Tight End of the Week after his strong performance against Missouri.
The award recipient is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee and will be announced Dec. 7 and then presented live on Dec. 8 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on ESPNU.
National Football League Hall of Fame member John Mackey is considered to be the best to have played the tight end position. A tight end by whom all others are measured, Mackey was a role model on and off the field as demonstrated by his Super Bowl Championship, his commitment to community and his place in history as the first President of the NFLPA.
The John Mackey Award presented since 2000, recognizes 14 alumni that have played in the NFL: two-time Super Bowl Champion Daniel Graham (‘01), 2006 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Clark (‘02), Kellen Winslow II (‘03), two-time Super Bowl Champion Heath Miller (‘04), Marcedes Lewis (‘05) of the Jacksonville Jaguars, 2008 Super Bowl Champion Matt Spaeth (‘06) of the of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Fred Davis (‘07), Chase Coffman (‘08), D.J. Williams (‘10), Dwayne Allen (’11) of the Indianapolis Colts, Tyler Eifert (’12) of the Cincinnati Bengals, Austin Seferian-Jenkins (’13) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Nick O’Leary (’14) of the Buffalo Bills and 2015 John Mackey Award recipient Hunter Henry of the San Diego Chargers.
Kentucky will begin the 2016 season Saturday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET against Southern Miss at Commonwealth Stadium. The game will be televised live on ESPNU.