AUBURN, Ala. Last season, C.J. Uzomah wasn't among Auburn's top five receivers in terms of receptions or yardage. But that didn't deter the Mackey Award selection committee from designating him as a player to watch this fall.
Uzomah was named to the preseason watch list for the Mackey Award on Tuesday, given annually to college football's most outstanding tight end. It marks the second year in a row he landed on the award's preseason watch list.
While he had only 11 catches for 154 yards for the run-heavy SEC champions last year, Uzomah made the most of his limited touches. His three touchdown receptions tied for second-most on the team, and he did so despite making only five starts and sitting out versus Western Carolina and playing only one snap in the SEC championship game due to a bruised shoulder. The Suwanee, Ga., native also came up with one of the most memorable plays in a season filled with dramatic finishes, as his 11-yard touchdown reception against Mississippi State capped a 12-play, 88-yard drive to lift the Tigers to a 24-20 victory.
Including Uzomah, 40 players were part of the initial watch list. Austin Seferian-Jenkins of Washington won the award last year.
Updates for the award will take place at different points throughout the fall. The midseason watch list will be released Oct. 13 and semifinalists will be announced Nov. 17. The finalists for the award will be revealed Nov. 24.
The award recipient is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee. The winner will be announced on Dec. 10 and the presentation of the award will come Dec. 11 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show.