Four from Big East on Mackey Award list

Tight ends in the Big East are relatively anonymous. But four players from the league have been nominated to the preseason watch list for the John Mackey Award, presented to the best tight end in the country.

The honorees are Louisville's Cameron Graham, Rutgers' D.C. Jefferson, Cincinnati's Ben Guidugli and Connecticut's Ryan Griffin.

Of the four, Jefferson has the most raw ability, but he's still learning the position. Guidugli, a senior, is the most accomplished of the group. I think Griffin could have a breakout year, and Graham was solid in 2009 and just needs to be a little more consistent to be a major weapon for the Cardinals.

You could also throw in West Virginia's Tyler Urban, who has drawn high praise from his coaches even though the Mountaineers traditionally haven't used the tight end very much. Pittsburgh had the two best tight ends in the league last season in Dorin Dickerson and Nate Byham, and will try to use Mike Cruz with a similar level of success.