DURHAM, N.C. - Duke senior tight end Cooper Helfet has been named to the 33-member preseason John Mackey Award watch list. The John Mackey Award is presented annually to the most outstanding tight end in FBS college football. Other requirements for the award include sportsmanship, good academic standing, and exceptional leadership abilities.
Helfet, a 6-4, 235-pound Kentwood, Calif., native was an honorable mention All-ACC selection in 2010, his first season with the Blue Devils. He was a key component of the Duke passing attack that ranked second in the ACC and had five players with 30 or more receptions for the second time in school history. Among ACC tight ends, Helfet ranked first in receiving yardage and second in receptions. In Duke's win over Virginia, he posted 122 receiving yards, marking the fifth-highest single game total by a tight end in Duke History, and received ACC Player of the Week honors.
Others included on the list are Allen Dwayne (Clemson), Brandon Barden (Vanderbilt), Tim Biere (Kansas), Ted Bolser (Indiana), George Bryan (N.C. State), Charles Orson (Georgia), Josh Chichester (Louisville), Jack Doyle (WKU), Drake Dunsmore (Northwestern), Kyle Efaw (Boise St.), Michael Egnew (Missouri), Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame), Rhett Ellison (USC), Coby Fleener (Stratford), Ladarius Green (Louisiana), Ryan Griffin (Connecticut), Joe Halahuni (Oregon St.), DC Jefferson (Rutgers), Kevin Koger (Michigan), Eric Lair (Minnesota), Brian Linthicum (Michigan St.), Philip Lutzenkirchen (Auburn), Anthony Miller (California), Chris Pantale (Boston College), David Paulson (Oregon), Colter Phillips (Virginia), Nick Provo (Syracuse), Lucas Reed (New Mexico), Kyler Reed (Nebraska), Evan Rodriguez (Temple), Jake Stoneburner (Ohio St.), Michael Williams (Alabama) and Luke Wilson (Rice).
The John Mackey Award was created in 2001 by the Nassau Country Sports Commission and is selected by vote by the John Mackey Selection Committee. The 2011 John Mackey winner will be presented live at the Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on December 8, 2011 at 6 p.m. EST on ESPNU.
John Mackey, the award's namesake, is regarded as one of the best to have every played the tight end position. Mackey, a role model on and off the field, played in the NFL 10 years where he was elected to the Pro Bowl five times and was a three-time All-NFL player. For more information on the John Mackey Award and a list of past recipients, visit www.johnmackeyaward.org.
Duke opens the 2011 season at home versus Richmond on September 3 at 7 p.m. Season tickets are available and may be purchased online at www.GoDuke.com or by calling the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at 1-877-375-DUKE (3853).