Today the nation was given a preview of who the National College Football awards Association is looking at in their search for the best tight end in college football. The initial watch list that came out today lists 40 tight ends that are in the running for the John Mackey Award, which is given to the most outstanding collegiate tight end. The award is named after the NFL Hall of Fame tight end who is considered the best to ever play the position.
The award has been presented since 2000 and includes former winners such as Dallas Clark ('02), Kellen Winslow II ('03), Heath Miller ('04) and Matt Spaeth ('06). Other notable players on the watch list include Wyatt Houston of Utah State, Rory Anderson of South Carolina, Clive Walford of Miami and Tyler Kroft of Rutgers.
Mahina, a senior out of Ontario, CA was recruited by a number of of west coast schools, including UCLA, Oregon, USC, Washington. Other Pac 12 schools that recruited him were Utah and Arizona State.
Before playing at BYU, Devin served an LDS mission in Antananarivo, Madagascar and then joined the Cougars in 2010, the same year he married his high school sweetheart, Lindsay. As a freshman, he started five games while appearing in 12. In those games he had 11 receptions for 118 yards with his best game coming against rival Utah with two catches for 32 yards. In 2011 he had to use his redshirt year due to a neck injury, but he came back strong in 2012. During his sophomore year he recorded his first touchdown as he caught eight passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns. His first coming against Hawai'i. In 2013 the Cougars didn't utilize the tight end as much so his number were limited, but he played in 10 games and started one.
This year could be the year we see Mahina breakout as the offense feels more comfortable with each other and the scheme. With talent at the skill position the field could open up for the tight ends and Mahina will be at the heart of it. Phil Steele even put Mahina on his Preseason All-Independent Second Team. Take a look at some of his highlights and keep and eye out for #84. How do you think he will do?