Arizona State tight end De'Marieya Nelson was named to the Mackey Award preseason watch list on Tuesday morning, which is given annually to the best tight end in the country.
Nelson was one of the most versatile players for the Sun Devils last season, catching seven passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 15 times for 53 yards and found the end zone twice on the ground as well. Nelson even contributed on defense and special teams recording 16 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Nelson will play a key role in the offense next season as he helps to try and replace the production of Chris Coyle at the tight end position.
The Mackey award was first given out in 2000 and Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins won the award last season. Other winners include Aaron Hernandez and Kellen Winslow II. John Mackey, whom the award is named after, played 10 seasons in the NFL in the 1960s almost all of them with the Baltimore Colts. He played in five Pro Bowls and helped the Colts to a victory in Super Bowl V. He caught 331 passes for 5,236 yards and 38 touchdowns in his career and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 69.
The award winner will be decided by 15-member committee vote. The committee is made up of football media including Adam Schefter and Lee Corso of ESPN, Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports and publisher Phil Steele.
The midseason Mackey Award watch list will come out on Oct. 13 and the finalists will be announced on Nov. 24. The winner will be announced on Dec. 10.