Yes, you read that correctly. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, 2nd-Team All Pac 12 tight end, has been named the 2013 John Mackey Award recipient. For those who don’t know, the Mackey is awarded yearly to college football’s best tight end. Here’s a little history I pulled off the Mackey Award website:
“The John Mackey Award, established in 2000, is awarded annually to the most outstanding Tight End in FBS college football. In addition to demonstrating outstanding athletic prowess on the field, the award also stands for positive sportsmanship-like behavior, good academic standing & exceptional leadership abilities.
The award is named after Roosevelt native and NFL Hall of Fame member John Mackey. The award recipient is determined by confidential balloting of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee, which is composed of respected members of the media and former NFL players.”
The controversy is rampant after the announcement. As much as I love ASJ, it’s hard to disagree with the majority. Austin began the year serving a one year suspension for a DUI. There goes the “exceptional leadership” qualities desired by the Mackey committee. After his return, ASJ posted his worst statistical season as a Husky. His 33 receptions for 413 yards this season was very pedestrian and only grabbed him a 2nd-Team Pac 12 honor.
However, if you want me to stand up for him, I will…
ASJ overcame a bad decision in the offseason and continued to rally his team. When it became evident the coaching staff wanted to keep the ball out of Keith Price’s hands and focus on the running game, Austin took his diminished roll and became one of the nations best blocking tight ends. And all that hard work paid off as Sankey broke six UW rushing records including an astonishing 1775 yards rushing this year.
Blocking only gets you so far though… In my opinion, rather than focusing on only 2013, I think the committee considered this decision more of a “career achievement” award before ASJ enters the NFL draft. I originally thought ASJ would stay at UW for his senior year but there’s never a better time to enter the draft than right after you win the Mackey Award.
Was this the right decision? Who knows… What do you think about ASJ winning the 2013 John Mackey Award?