Penn State’s projected starting TE named to the Mackey Award watch list

·1 min read

Although Penn State has a pretty solid history of tight ends over the years, the Nittany Lions have never had a player win the John Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end. Brenton Strange hopes to change that in 2021.

Strange was named to the 2021 watch list for the John Mackey Award, which recognizes the nation’s best tight end. Strange is one of 56 players named to the watch list for the individual award for the 2021 season.

As a freshman in 2020, Strange played in all nine games played by Penn State and caught 17 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Strange played as a backup to Pat Freiermuth for much of the season but was elevated in his role following a season-ending injury to the future second-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Strange showed off some brilliance at times and appeared to be difficult for defenders to take down at times.

Strange is expected to be Penn State’s starting tight end this season, although Penn State may also have a solid tight end option in Theo Johnson as well.

The Mackey Award has been presented annually since the 2000 season when Purdue’s Tim Stratton won the inaugural award. Last year’s winner was Florida‘s Kyle Pitts. Other past winners of the Mackey Award include Dallas Clark (Iowa, 2002), Tyler Eiffert (Notre Dame, 2012), Nick O’Leary (Florida State, 2014), Jake Butt (Michigan, 2016), and T.J. Hockenson (Iowa, 2018).

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