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Seven from Big Ten on Mackey watch list

The John Mackey Award came out with its 2011 preseason watch list on Wednesday, and the Big Ten is well represented.

Seven players from the league were nominated for the award, which goes to the nation's most outstanding tight end. Arkansas' D.J. Williams won the trophy last season.

Here are the Big Ten players on the list, along with their 2010 stats:

  • Ted Bolser, Indiana, Soph.: 27 catches, 407 yards, 5 touchdowns

  • Kevin Koger, Michigan, Sr.: 14 catches, 199 yards, 2 touchdowns

  • Brian Linthicum, Michigan State, Sr.: 18 catches, 230 yards, 1 touchdown

  • Eric Lair, Minnesota, Sr: 39 catches, 526 yards, 2 touchdowns

  • Kyler Reed, Nebraska, Jr.: 22 catches, 395 yards, 8 touchdowns

  • Drake Dunsmore, Northwestern, Sr.: 40 catches, 381 yards, 5 touchdowns

Reed and Dunsmore could put up the kind of offensive numbers this year that get voters' attention if they can build on their 2010 campaigns. Not coincidentally, these are also the top seven in our ranking of the Big Ten tight ends from last month.