The LSU Tigers had players on both the 2012 Mackey Award and Rimington Trophy watch lists when they were announced on July 10.
Tight end Chase Clement was named to the Mackey Award list and center P.J. Lonergan was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list. The Mackey Award is handed out annually to the nation's top tight end. The Rimington Trophy goes to the top center in college football.
Clement was one of 33 tight ends on the Mackey Award watch list. There were seven total SEC players on the watch list. Clement is a senior who has appeared in 40 games for LSU (nine starts). He is not used often in the passing game but has come up big when he has been thrown to with nine catches for 138 yards (15.3 average) and a touchdown. Clement is a versatile player and great blocker who began his career at LSU as a backup defensive end before converting to tight end in his sophomore season. LSU has never had a tight end win the Mackey Award. Richard Dickson was the last Tiger to make the watch list in 2008 and 2009.
Lonergan was one of 51 players who made the Rimington watch list. He was joined on the watch list by nine other SEC players. Lonergan is trying to become the first player to start at least once at center for the Tigers in four years since Ben Wilkerson, the 2004 Rimington Trophy co-winner, did it from 2001-2004. The Tigers are 22-4 in the games which Lonergan has started in his career. Lonergan had a knockdown block on 9.7% of his snaps last season.
Unfortunately for Clement, I don't think he's going to have the offensive numbers to be a finalist for the award. The guys who usually win the award sometimes have individual games with the stats Clement has had for his career. As for Lonergan, he not only needs to have a great season, he also has to make make the All-America teams selected by the American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America. The Rimington Trophy uses those four organizations' lists to select a winner. As an FWAA member, I could at least nominate Lonergan for that All-America team if he's having a worthy campaign.
As an LSU fan, I hope both of these players will have good seasons whether or not they become finalists for any awards.
More from Patrick Johnston:
"Tight End Clement on Mackey Award Watch List", LSU Sports.net
"Center Lonergan on Rimington Trophy Watch List:", LSU Sports.net
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