KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/SUBMITTED) -- Tennessee senior tight end Mychal Rivera has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2012 John Mackey Award. Given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end, the winner of the 2012 Mackey Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 6, 2012.
Rivera is from Valencia, Calif. and caught 29 passes for 344 yards and one touchdown while starting all 12 games for the Vols in 2012, including a career-high, 85-yard receiving effort against Georgia last October. In 25 career games, he has caught 40 passes for 466 yards and one touchdown. Rivera finished third in the SEC in receptions and yards receiving in 2011 and also ranked second on the Vols in both categories.
Rivera also caught five passes for 71 yards and a touchdown at Florida last season, representing the most catches by a UT tight end since Chris Brown's six in 2007.
No Tennessee player has won the Mackey Award, although Jason Witten (2002) and Luke Stocker (2010) were semifinalists for the honor.
The John Mackey Award, established in 2001, is awarded annually to the most outstanding tight end in FBS college football. In addition to demonstrating outstanding athletic prowess on the field, the award also stands for positive sportsmanship-like behavior, good academic standing & exceptional leadership abilities.