Nebraska’s Kyler Reed is among the 33 tight ends included on the preseason watch list for the John Mackey Award.
Injuries limited Reed a bit during his junior season, when he caught 15 passes for 257 yards and one touchdown. The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder likely won’t match his eight-touchdown sophomore season this year, but one would expect the coaches to make a deliberate attempt to expand Reed’s role (assuming he’s injury-free).
Then again, Reed will still be sharing snaps with senior Ben Cotton, the effective run blocker and improving route runner who’s often left unguarded in play-action scenarios. Cotton had 14 catches for 189 yards last season.
Those are two top tight ends in the Big Ten, though. Not a bad problem for NU to have.
Here are the other league talents at TE (each included on the Mackey list): Indiana’s Ted Bolser, Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz, Wisconsin’s Jacob Pedersen, Michigan State’s Dion Sims and Ohio State’s Jake Stoneburner.
>> For more on preseason watch lists, check out Rich Kaipust’s blog from Monday (Rex Burkhead has been recognized).