It he can get his hands on it, the John Mackey Award would be Cade Otton's biggest catch as a University of Washington football player — hauling in the reward given to the nation's most outstanding college tight end.
On Friday, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Husky junior tight end, who is an accomplished blocker as well as a reliable receiver and a desirable NFL prospect, earned a place on the 56-player watch list.
Otton is bidding to become the second Husky among 21 previous winners to receive this award, matching former UW standout Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who was the 2013 recipient.
Yet he might face an uphill battle for no other reason than the Mackey group couldn't spell his name right this time.
Actually, the Mackey Award knows exactly who Cade Otton is and how to accurately spell his surname. It's done this multiple times before. The group made the talented UW player one of its eight semifinalists in 2020 before giving the award to Florida's Kyle Pitts.
The organization also named Otton as its national Tight End of the Week for the season's 12th week following his 8-catch, 108-yard, 2-touchdown performance in the Huskies' stirring 24-21 comeback victory over Utah. The game was decided on Otton's 16-yard scoring catch with just 36 seconds remaining.
The Mackey Award is named for John Mackey, a former Syracuse standout tight end and a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee who spent his 10-year career with the Baltimore Colts and the San Diego Chargers. He died in 2011 at 69, 11 years after the award in his name was created.
Among the 21 previous recipients, a pair of notorious football players appear on the list, among them Florida's Aaron Hernandez in 2003 and Miami's Kellen Winslow II in 2009. Hernandez, a convicted murderer, died in prison four years ago from suicide, while Winslow, the namesake of another Pro Football HOFer, recently was sentenced to 14 years for sex-related offenses.
Otton, who was selected first-team All-Pac-12 in 2020, would bring a totally spotless, overly positive reputation to the lineup of Mackey winners.
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