September 22, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Kyle Carter (87) celebrates Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Matthew McGloin

Can Penn State TE Kyle Carter Win the John Mackey Award?

With all the talk of Michael Mauti being left off of award lists, Kyle Carter may not be getting the attention he deserves. Carter was recently one of 26 players named to the John Mackey Award midseason watch list and the redshirt freshman has a legitimate shot at taking the award.

The John Mackey award is given annually to the nation’s top tight end and has been awarded to the likes of Kellen Winslow Jr, Dallas Clark and Aaron Hernandez, among others. The 26 finalists are comprised of 14 seniors, 9 juniors, 2 sophomores and just one freshman: Carter.

Despite being one of the few underclassmen on the list, Carter’s stats rank right up there with the best of them, many of whom have not had their bye week yet. His 35 catches are good enough for 6th best among tight ends in the country and his  441 receiving yards put him 8th on the list. Only two players have more catches and more yards than the standout from Penn State; Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Chris Coyle. Kyle Carter averages more yards per catch than both of them.

The one statistic that Carter is lacking in is touchdowns. Only four tight ends have more catches and touchdowns than Carter, but his two trips to the end zone rank him nowhere near the top. He even trails his own teammate, Matt Lehman, who has three

That may just be his downfall. The depth and diversity of the Penn State tight ends. Penn State tight ends lead the nation in catches and yards, which isn’t always great for business when you’re an individual player vying for an award. In addition to Carter’s 35 catches, 441 yards and 2 touchdowns, the other tight ends on the team have 27 catches, 317 yards and 5 touchdowns. If Carter had half of those stats added to his totals, he’d be a shoe-in to win the Mackey Award. As it stands, he has a pretty good shot of becoming a finalist and making some noise. And he has three seasons left under Bill O’Brien.

For the recruitniks out there, Kyle was a 2 star prospect whose only other offers were from Delaware and Bucknell.

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