July 10, 2012
Official Release (pdf)
Rice senior tight end Luke Willson is one of 33 players who have been named to the 2012 John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List. The Nassau County Sports Commission, sponsored by Briarcliffe College, announced the preliminary list for the honor on Tuesday.
Willson was also named to the College Football Performance Awards Tight End Trophy Watch List on Tuesday. He is the third Owl to be named to one of CFPA's position trophy watch lists, joining kicker Chris Boswell and cornerback Bryce Callahan.
This marks the second consecutive year that Willson has been a member of the Mackey Award watch list. Last season he was a second-team All C-USA selection by Phil Steele after finishing second on the team with 313 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He was tabbed by Steele as a preseason All C-USA pick this year and was also named to Dave Campbell's Texas Football's All Texas College preseason team. He spent the first part of this summer participating in the Toronto Blue Jays extended spring training camp after signing with the club as a non-drafted free agent last August. While he was with the Blue Jays, he was drafted by the Toronto Argos in the fourth round of the CFL Draft.
Given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end, the award recipient is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee and the 2012 John Mackey winner will be presented live on December 6, 2012 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show: 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Other key dates include the announcement of the 2012 Mackey semi-finalists on November 12, 2012 and the announcement of the 2012 Mackey finalists on November 19, 2012. All future announcements can be found at www.johnmackeyaward.org.
NFL Hall of Fame member John Mackey is considered to be the best to have played the tight end position. A tight end by whom all others are measured, Mackey was a role model on and off the field as demonstrated by his Super Bowl Championship, his commitment to community and his place in history as the first President of the NFLPA.
The John Mackey Award presented since 2000, lists eleven NFL players as alumni: 2006 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Clark ('01) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two-time Super Bowl Champion Daniel Graham ('02), Kellen Winslow II ('03) of the Seattle Seahawks, two-time Super Bowl Champion Heath Miller ('04) of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Marcedes Lewis ('05) of the Jacksonville Jaguars, 2008 Super Bowl Champion Matt Spaeth ('06) of the of the Chicago Bears, Fred Davis ('07) of the Washington Redskins, Chase Coffman ('08) of the Tampa Bay Bucaneers, Aaron Hernandez ('09) of the New England Patriots, D.J. Williams ('10) of the Green Bay Packers and the 2011 John Mackey Award recipient Dwayne Allen of the Indianapolis Colts.