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Kentucky's C.J. Conrad Named to John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List; Jordan Jones, Benny Snel


LEXINGTON, Ky. – UK junior tight end C.J. Conrad (pictured) has been named to the John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List for the third straight season, it was announced Tuesday, July 11.


Conrad, a native of LaGrange, Ohio, ranked fourth on the team in receiving in 2016 with 19 catches for 262 yards and four touchdowns. He had a career day vs. New Mexico State, catching five passes for a career-high 133 yards and three touchdowns in the 62-42 win. He became the first player since Dicky Lyons Jr., vs. Florida on Oct. 20, 2007 to have three receiving touchdowns in a game. He also was the first tight end with 100 receiving yards in a game since Jacob Tamme vs. Tennessee on Nov. 24, 2007. The 133 receiving yards are the third-most by a tight end in Kroger Field history.

As a freshman, Conrad was named a third-team Athlon Sports Freshman All-American and earned a spot on the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team after leading all SEC freshmen tight ends with 15 catches for 149 yards and one score. His best game came at Mississippi State when he caught six passes for 56 yards, while he had two games with three or more catches. Conrad was placed on the John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List and earned honorable mention Mackey Award Tight End of the Week after helping UK defeat No. 25 Missouri with three catches for 55 yards and a TD.

The John Mackey Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast over 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more. Beginning in 2015, The Home Depot College Football Awards will have a new home at the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in downtown Atlanta.

NFL Hall of Fame member John Mackey is considered to be the best to have played the tight end position. A tight end by whom all others are measured, Mackey was a role model on and off the field as demonstrated by his Super Bowl Championship, his commitment to community and his place in history as the first President of the NFLPA.

JONES, SNELL SELECTED TO AWARD WATCH LISTS

Meanwhile, two UK football players have been named to other Award Watch Lists, it was announced on Monday. Junior linebacker Jordan Jones has been named to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, while sophomore running back Benny Snell Jr., has been selected to the Maxwell Award Watch list.

Jones, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, led the Southeastern Conference and ranked 16th nationally in solo tackles per game last season with 5.7 per game and ranked third in total tackles per game with 8.4. He totaled a team-high 109 tackles and led the Wildcats with 15.5 tackles for loss. He has earned preseason All-America honors by Athlon (third team) and preseason first-team All-SEC honors by Athlon Sports and Southern Pigskin.

Snell, a native of Westerville, Ohio, had a record-breaking season with the Wildcats. He set six UK freshman records in 2016, despite not have a rushing attempt until the third game of the season. His records include most rushing touchdowns in a game (4), most rushing yards by a freshman (1,091), most rushing touchdowns by a freshman (13), most total touchdowns by a freshman (13), most 100-yard rushing games (5) and most rushing yards by a freshman in a single game (192). He was named a Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, ESPN and 247Sports and recently was named third-team All-SEC by Athlon Sports.

The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.

The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, has been given to America's College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell's contributions to the game of football were extensive, including time as a player, a sportswriter and an official.

The Maxwell and Bednarik Awards are members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 23 awards boast over 745 years of tradition-selection excellence.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced October 30, 2017, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled November 20, 2017. The winners of the 2017 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 7, 2017. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 9, 2018.

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