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Penn State Tight End Brenton Strange Named To Mackey Award Preseason Watch List

Penn State football tight end Brenton Strange is receiving some newfound hype ahead of the 2021 season.

He was one of 56 players named to the 2021 John Mackey Award preseason watch list Friday. The award is annually given to the best tight end in college football.

It’s the first time Strange has been featured on the Mackey Award watch list. He joins seven other Big Ten tight ends on the list.

Strange has played two seasons with the Nittany Lions since arriving in Happy Valley as a four-star recruit dating back to 2019. After seeing limiting playing time his true freshman season, Strange’s role increased this past season after Pat Freiermuth went down with season-ending surgery.

Strange started five games during the 2020 season and totaled 17 catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He hauled in his first touchdown of the season on a 28-yard grab in the team’s loss to Iowa.

If Strange were to win the award, he would become the first Nittany Lion tight end to ever bring home the honor. Fellow Nittany Lion and current Miami Dolphin Mike Gesicki was named a finalist in 2017 but lost to Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews. Five Big Ten players have won the award in its history, the most recent being Iowa’s TJ Hockenson in 2018.

Last year, Florida’s Kyle Pitts won the award. The Atlanta Falcons later took him with the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Strange joins a plethora of Nittany Lions named to preseason award watch lists thus far. Noah Cain, Keyvone Lee, and John Lovett were all named to the Doak Walker Award watch list, Jahan Dotson made the Biletnikoff Award and Maxwell Award watch lists, and Jaquan Brisker made the Bednarik Award watch list. Additionally, head coach James Franklin was selected to the Dodd Trophy watch list.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a junior majoring in journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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