Koyack, Niklas make Mackey watch list

So much for the loss of Tyler Eifert hurting, right?

Notre Dame managed to place two players, Ben Koyack and Troy Niklas, Tuesday on the 37-man watch list for the Mackey Award, which is given to the nation's top tight end.

Not bad for a school that has earned the moniker "Tight End U." over the past few years.

Rival USC was the only other school to land multiple players on the watch list, with Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer notching the honors.

Raw deal for Alex Welch, no?

Still, Koyack and Niklas have just a combined nine career catches for 119 yards and one touchdown, which Niklas grabbed in the Irish's Nov. 10 win at Boston College. The two, along with Welch, have a long way to go to match the production of Eifert, who won the award last season.

No Notre Dame players were on the watch list released Tuesday for The Rimington Trophy, which is given to the nation's top center. Nick Martin had the edge this past spring over Matt Hegarty to replace Braxston Cave in the middle of the Irish's offensive line.