Central Michigan senior tight end Tyler Conklin was named to the John Mackey Award preseason watch list Tuesday. The award has been given to the country's best tight end since 2000.
Conklin, coming off his Offensive Newcomer of the Year campaign, made 11 starts and finished third on the team in receptions (42) and receiving yards (560) in 2016. His six touchdown catches were the second most behind receiver Corey Willis.
Conklin arrived in Mount Pleasant the second semester of his freshman year. After sitting out for the entire season in 2014, the L'Anse Creuse North (Mich.) graduate saw limited action as a backup in 2015, catching six passes for 95 yards.
Conklin, the former Northwood University basketball player, was among the list of top 16 tight ends in the country, according to Bleacher Report this past January.
CMU senior center Austin Doan was also named to the Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List. The award annually recognizes the most outstanding center in college football.
Doan, from Romeo, Michigan, has combined for 22 starts the past two seasons. He is one of 10 players from the MAC on the 70-player watch list.
The Mackey Award winner will be announced on December 6, days after the conclusion of the MAC conference championship, which will take place once again at Ford Field in Detroit.