Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Temple's Rodriguez named to Mackey Watch List

Temple senior tight end Evan Rodriguez (North Bergen, N.J.) is one of 34 players named to the 2011 John Mackey Award Watch List, the Nassau County Sports Commission announced on Wednesday.

The 2011 John Mackey winner will be presented live at the Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on December 8, 2011, at 6 p.m. EST on ESPNU.

A 2010 first-team All-Mid-American Conference selection and ECAC All-Star, Rodriguez played in 11 games with nine starts last fall. He was the top tight end with 247 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 21 receptions. Rodriguez had a career-high 43 yards on three receptions, including a 31-yard touchdown reception, at Northern Illinois. The two-year starter is also a 2011 preseason first-team All-MAC honoree by Phil Steele and preseason Tight End of the Year by the College Football Performance Awards.

The John Mackey Award, established in 2001, is awarded annually to the most outstanding tight end in FBS college football. In addition to demonstrating outstanding athletic prowess on the field, the award also stands for positive sportsmanship-like behavior, good academic standing & exceptional leadership abilities.
The award recipient is determined by confidential balloting of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee, which is composed of respected members of the media and former NFL players.

The award is named after Roosevelt native and NFL Hall of Fame member John Mackey. Mackey is often regarded as one of the all-time greats to ever have played the tight end position. He played in the National Football League for 10 years, was elected to the Pro Bowl five times, was a three-time All-NFL Player, was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team and to the league's 50th Anniversary squad. He also played in two NFL Championship games and two Super Bowls, including the victorious Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V where he caught a pivotal 75 yd TD from Johnny Unitas.

During his playing days, the 6'2", 225-pound John "Mack Truck" Mackey was known for his tremendous speed and power. His courageous leadership on the field led him into power as President of the NFL Players Association and subsequent improvements in players free agency rights, pension benefits and injury protection programs now enjoyed by all NFL players. Prior to his remarkable NFL career and ground breaking work with the NFLPA, Mackey had attended the alma mater of boyhood idol and fellow Nassau County native Jim Brown at Syracuse University.

Under the guidance of first-year head coach Steve Addazio , Temple returns 46 lettermen, including 13 starters. The Owls open the 2011 season with cross-city rival Villanova in the third annual Mayor’s Cup, sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts, at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday, Sept. 1. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN3.

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