Senior Jerome Washington was included in the list of nominees for the John Mackey Award on Friday, given out to the nation’s top tight end each college football season. Washington was one of twelve players selected from the Big Ten. For a full list of the nominees, click here. Finalists for the Mackey Award will be named in November and the winner will be announced on December 5th.
Last season, Washington led Rutgers with 28 receptions and 282 yards receiving. He also scored one touchdown and 13 catches produced first downs. Perhaps his most memorable catch was this catch against Nebraska last season, which was considered one of the most notable receptions in college football in 2017.
Washington has an opportunity to flourish this coming season under new offensive coordinator John McNulty, who is incorporating a more traditional pro-style offense that will utilize the tight ends more than Rutgers has in recent seasons. It will also help Washington if freshman quarterback Artur Sitkowski wins the starting job, as he is considered to have the best arm on the roster. I raved about Washington’s potential last season here and Rutgers fans should be excited about him entering the 2018 campaign.
Other Rutgers players to have received preseason recognition so far have been Billy Taylor for the David Binn Award given to the best long snapper, as well as Zach Heeman, who was nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for players who are committed to community service.
Big Ten Media Days take place early next week and we’ll link our preview here shortly. Training camp begins for Rutgers on August 2nd.