Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Notre Dame football.

Thursday, November 30

Carlson In Line For Mackey Award

It’s been quite a day for senior tight end John Carlson. First, he was named first team academic All-American by ESPN The Magazine. Then, he was named one of three finalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s best tight end.

Now, if he can just get his knee healthy in time for a bowl game.

Let’s start with the academic honor. Carlson has a cumulative grade point average of 3.59 and earned a 3.8 GPA last spring. He’s a member of the Academic Honors program and is on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

As far as his on-field accomplishments, Carlson has 46 catches for 621 yards and four touchdowns. He missed two and a half games because of his knee injury.

The other finalists are Arizona State’s Zach Miller (41 catches, 420 yards, three touchdowns) and Minnesota’s Matt Spaeth (47 catches, 564 yards, four touchdowns).

The winner will be announced next Thursday.

Carlson was a receiving non-factor in his first two seasons, totaling 13 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown while being used mostly as a blocker and special teams players (18 tackles, one forced fumble). He’s made the most of his opportunity. Will it be enough to win the Mackey Award? Our guess is yes, it will.


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