Minnesota Gophers tight end Maxx Williams has been named one of eight semifinalists for the 2014 John Mackey Award. The award is given to the nation's top tight end.
Williams, a former Waconia High School star, plays a significant role in the Gophers' passing game. Williams leads the team in receptions (25), receiving yards (373) and receiving touchdowns (seven).
Twice this season Williams has been named the Mackey Weekly Award winner. The first time was following Minnesota's victory over Michigan when he caught four passes for 51 yards and a touchdown, including this spectacular one-handed catch.
He won the weekly recognition again after the Gophers beat Iowa. Williams caught three touchdown passes in the game, including another acrobatic catch in the back of the end zone.
Williams holds the school's single-season tight end touchdown record and is tied with former Gophers receiver Ron Johnson for most touchdowns in a single season as a sophomore.
The other semifinalists for the award are:
- E.J. Bibbs, Iowa State, Sr.
- Evan Engram, Mississippi, So.
- Ben Koyack, Notre Dame, Sr.
- Jimmay Mundine, Kansas, Sr.
- Nick O'Leary, Florida State, Sr.
- Jean Sifrin, Massachusetts, Jr.
- Clive Walford, Miami, Sr.
According to the Star Tribune, former Gophers tight end Matt Spaeth won the award in 2006.
The award's selection committee will name the finalists on Nov. 24, and announce the winner Dec. 10. The trophy will be presented live at the Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on Dec. 11.