Seven Big Ten players have been named to the 2011 Mackey Award preseason watch list as announced on Wednesday. The Mackey Award, handed out annually since the 2000 season, is given to the top tight end in the country. Representing the Big Ten on the watch list are Indiana's Ted Bolser, Michigan's Kevin Koger, Michigan State's Brian Linthicum, Minnesota's Eric Lair, Nebraska's Kyler Reed, Northwestern's Drake Dunsmore and Ohio State's Jake Stoneburner.
The conference has reeled in three Mackey Awards since the accolade's inception. Purdue's Tim Stratton won the inaugural award in 2000, while Iowa's Dallas Clark followed in 2002 and Minnesota's Matt Spaeth earned the honor in 2006.