As spread offenses in college football continue to take over, a certain offensive position on the field has evolved along with them. The tight end position has evolved from being primarily an extra blocker on the front line with the ability to catch a pass here-and-there into literally an extra wide receiver on the field. The combination of size, speed and athleticism has brought more attention to the position than it has ever enjoyed before.
With that, more attention is being paid these days to candidates for the John Mackey Award recognizing the best tight end in college football.
On Tuesday, the 2013 preseason watch list for the coveted award was announced, and the ACC is well represented by six more than worthy athletes.
Of the 37 tight ends on the list, the conference is represented by NC State‘s Asa Watson, Miami‘s Clive Walford, Syracuse‘s Beckett Wales, Virginia‘s Jake McGee, Florida State‘s Nick O’Leary and North Carolina‘s Eric Ebron.
All six of these young men proved last season to be key pieces to each’s respective offense in the passing game. The ACC is one of the conference’s that is slowly being taken over by those spread offenses, so the battle between these players should be fun to watch as the year progresses.
However, there’s one name not on this list that people should keep an eye on.
Being a freshman and not having played a down of college football yet is an obvious reason as to why he’s not included with the above-mentioned group, but Clemson freshman Jordan Leggett could make a serious impact this season for the heavily-hyped Tigers. He drew rave reviews from the coaches throughout spring and could work his way into becoming a major player this year.
Jack is the ACC College Football Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14RS