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
Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State, Jr.: 21 catches, 222 yards, 2 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.