Awards watch: Heuerman on Mackey list
July, 9, 2013
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The wait is almost over. The season is finally creeping up again, and the annual release of preseason watch lists for the biggest awards in college football confirms it -- and helps provide a useful distraction during the final month leading up to the start of training camp. BuckeyeNation will be tracking all the Ohio State players being tracked by the various committees and will be handicapping their odds of bringing a few trophies back to campus along the way.
JOHN MACKEY AWARD
Greg Bartram/USA TODAY SportsTight end Jeff Heuerman should have a significant role in the Ohio State offense this season.
- What: The nation's top tight end
- On the list: Ohio State junior Jeff Heuerman
- Credentials: The position didn't get quite as much work in the passing game last fall as expected, but the load figures to increase significantly now that Urban Meyer has had a year to watch Heuerman develop and find the best way to get him involved in the offense. His physical attributes rank among the best on the team in terms of reps on the bench press and vertical leap, which makes him a potential nightmare for defenders. He's already a load with a frame of 6-foot-6, 250 pounds and more mobility than anybody that size should have. Heuerman's role was more as a blocker during the unbeaten season a year ago, and he finished with just eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown -- actually losing a head-to-head statistical battle with fellow tight end Nick Vannett in both receptions and yardage. Bigger things should be in store for both of them this season as the offense evolves to take advantage of the unique set of skills they each bring to the field.
- Head to head: Showcase opportunities against other tight ends currently being watched by the committee -- Ted Bolser (Indiana), Kyle Carter (Penn State), C.J. Fiedorowicz (Iowa), Devin Funchess (Michigan), Gabe Holmes (Purdue), Jacob Pedersen (Wisconsin),
- Odds: Just because Vannett isn't among the candidates on the initial watch list doesn't mean he can't contend for the honor along with Heuerman. But the fact that both tight ends are expected to have more significant roles in the offense this fall will probably harm their individual chances of winning a major award. That personal loss, though, would be a team gain for the Buckeyes.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35