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2013 Mackey watch list: Trio of Mountain West players among nation's best

There are three Mountain West players on the initial Mackey Award watch list, this award is given to the nation's best tight end.

Ethan Miller

The latest preseason watch list to announce itself is the Mackey Award, which is given to the nation's top tight end. These position specific awards are more likely for a Mountain West player to claim a victory, rather than the best offensive or defensive player.

There are a total of 37 players on the list, and three of those are from the Mountain West:

Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State: A new quarterback could be what Gillmore needs to improve off of his 2012 season where he caught 19 receptions for 263 yards and two touchdowns.

Marcel Jensen, Fresno State: The pass-happy offense that the Bulldogs will run certainly will help Jensen have a solid 2013 season. Last year, he caught 20 passes for 339 yards and had four touchdowns.

Gabe Linehan Boise State: In 2012 Linehan did not play much due to injury and played in just four games, but he has the ability to become a big time target for the Broncos. In 2011 where Linehan played a full season, he caught 23 receptions for 252 yards and five touchdowns.

The 2013 award is wide open as the 2012 winner was Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert, and has moved on to the NFL. The next closest to win probably would be Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins but his status for the 2013 season is very much up in the air as he was suspended indefinitely for a DUI arrest during this past offseason. This means that there are zero finalist from the 2012 award heading into this season, so the 2013 Mackey is very much up in the air.