The thought of a Syracuse Orange tight end winning the Mackey Award the same year John Mackey passes away has a real nice ring to it. The possibility remains now that SU's Nick Provo has made the cut as one of the 25 candidates for the award given to the best tight end in college football.
Provo, one of two BIG EAST tight ends of the list, is having a career season for the Orange in 2011. A Phil Steele All-BIG EAST First Team Midseason honoree, Provo has 22 catches for 265 yards and two touchdowns. He is currently second on the SU career receptions by a tight end (63) and career receiving yards by a tight end (755). He has caught at least one pass in each of the past 19 games, tying him for sixth all-time at Syracuse with wide receiver Van Chew.
Provo was on the preseason watch list as well.
The competition is stiff, for sure. Wisconsin's Nick Toon, Stanford's Coby Fleener and Ohio State's Jack Stoneburner all have six touchdowns so far. However, Provo isn't too far off the pace in terms of receptions (10 back of leader) or receiving yards (10th overall). If the Orange can keep feeding Provo and try to do so more often near the goal-line, he's got a shot at making the next cut.
The announcement of the 2011 Mackey semi-finalists will be on November 14, while the release of finalists for the award will be one week later on November 21. The winner will be announced December 8.