The Mackey Award is presented annually to the best tight end in college football. Three finalists for this year’s award were named on Tuesday.
Despite being the leading receiver on the best team in the country and ranking third among tight ends in touchdown catches with 8, Brock Bowers did not make the cut.
Few also could’ve foreseen the rash of injuries suffered by the Georgia wide receivers this year. Add in a preseason foot injury to Darnell Washington and you understand why Bowers quickly became a focal point in the Georgia offense.
“We really haven’t had anybody else who has been consistently healthy across the board,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “I don’t know if we have had anybody who has played every single game - maybe AD (Mitchell). I think he may be the only guy, and he’s a true freshman starting out much like Brock.”
Bowers, Mitchell, tight end John FitzPatrick and Ladd McConkey are the only four pass catchers to play in every game for Georgia this year. Availability is often the best ability and that’s one Bowers clearly possesses.
But it’s not the only one the freshman from Napa, Ca has in his toolbox.
“He’s phenomenal; to be that size, have those ball skills, and run as fast as he can is crazy,” Wide receiver Ladd McConkey said. “It really is crazy that he is able to do that. When he’s out there, just watching some of the things he does, it really is special.”
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The other element to Bowers game that has impressed Smart has been his ability to produce on a week-to-week basis. Only once this year has Bowers been held without a catch and that came in the 37-0 win over Arkansas. It’s rare for a freshman to deliver that consistently.
Add it all up and you can see why Bowers has already blossomed into a star for the Bulldogs. And despite what the Mackey Award says, one of the best tight ends in the country.
“He’s not just a role player. He can block and plays with physical toughness,” Smart said. “He’s very intelligent. He takes notes. He comes in early and watches his tape. When you have dependability and talent mixed together, it’s usually what you get, and you have a guy who has put up the numbers he did.”
Brock Bowers ‘special’ in Georgia offense despite Mackey Award snub
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