Northwestern junior Drake Dunsmore was named to the John Mackey Award preseason watch list on Monday.
The Mackey Award is given to the nation’s top tight end. Dunsmore was one of 32 players named to the watch list.
Dunsmore is coming off a sophomore season during which he had 47 receptions for 523 yards and three touchdowns. He had a career-best nine receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown in the Outback Bowl.
Dunsmore, who is 6-3 and 235 pounds, battled a variety of injuries over the past few seasons, but is again healthy and is expected by many around the Wildcats’ program to have a breakout season.
“I think his future is very bright,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said before training camp opened. “He can play on the line. We can move him around. He can split out. He’s got a lot of Dallas Clark-like attributes. I think the tip of the iceberg is what we saw in the Outback Bowl.”