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Evan Engram Left Off Mackey Award Finalist List

Ole Miss senior Evan Engram snags the reception and beats the tackle from Alabama's Ronnie Harrison at Vaught-Hemmingway stadium Saturday during the Ole Miss v Alabama game.
Ole Miss senior Evan Engram snags the reception and beats the tackle from Alabama’s Ronnie Harrison at Vaught-Hemmingway stadium Saturday during the Ole Miss v Alabama game. Photo by Danny Dickey 

Last night the finalists for the John Mackey Award were announced. The award is given to the nation’s best tight end. The three finalists are Alabama’s O.J Howard, Clemson’s Jordan Leggett and Michigan’s Jake Butt.

Noticeably missing from the list is Ole Miss’ senior tight end Evan Engram. Despite being ahead of the finalists in many statistical categories, Engram wasn’t selected as a finalist, though he was a semi-finalist for the award. Dylan Edwards, a blogger for Ole Miss Athletics, tweeted this graphic comparing Engram’s rankings to the selected finalists in key statistical areas. 

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Engram’s 926 yards leads the SEC and with 8 TDs, he is clearly more productive than the three finalists. O.J Howard has 30 catches for 359 yards and just two touchdowns. Jake Butt has 38 catches for 460 yards and four touchdowns. Jordan Legget has 31 catches for 530 yards and four touchdowns. Many were quick to point out the lapse in judgment by the Mackey Award committee including Hugh Freeze. 

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Ross Bjork cited the criteria for the award while voicing his support for the Rebel tight end. 

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While the criteria for the award doesn’t always fit Engram’s role in the Ole Miss offense, Freeze pointed out that both Clemson and Alabama run the same offense. 

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After the outpour of fan and coach support, Engram also took to Twitter to thank those who thought he should be included in the list and to congratulate the finalists. 

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It may be no coincidence that all three finalists are on teams in prime position to be in the College Football Playoff at the end of the regular season, while the Rebels are fighting to become bowl eligible this Saturday against Mississippi State. While the finalists have all been productive members of their respective offenses, Engram has the been the guy for Ole Miss this season and his stats reflect that much more clearly than the finalists.   

The 2016 John Mackey Award recipient will be announced on December 7, 2016 and presented live on December 8, 2016 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show at 5 p.m CT on ESPNU.


Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com.

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