The Big 12 Conference placed eight more student-athletes on preseason award watch lists Tuesday as the John Mackey and Rimington Award lists were announced.
Oklahoma’s Blake Bell and Taylor McNamara, alongside Iowa State’s E.J. Bibbs and Kansas’ Jimmay Mundine were named to the 2014 John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List. The Award, given annually to the nation’s top tight end, is selected by the vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee and will be announced December 10, and awarded December 11 at the Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show.
Bell, a redshirt senior from Wichita, Kan., enters the 2014 season at tight end after playing predominantly in the quarterback position last season. Bell appeared in 11 of the Sooner’s 13 games last season including eight as a starter. Bell completed 140 passes on the season tallying 1,648 yards and 12 touchdowns.
McNamara, a redshirt sophomore, was also named to the watch list for the Sooners. He has made five appearances for Oklahoma at the tight end position. McNamara made his debut for the Sooners last season against Baylor where he recorded his first collegiate reception.
Iowa State’s Bibbs was also named to the list following a 2013 season in which he earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors. Bibbs hauled in 39 receptions for 462 yards in his 2013 campaign. Kansas’ Mundine also appeared in the 2014 preseason list following an 20 catch, 229 yard 2013 season. Mundine led Kansas with five touchdown receptions last season.
The Big 12 Conference also produced five of the 66 players nationally to be named to the Rimington watch list including Ty Darlington, Tom Farniok, BJ Finney, Dominic Espinosa and Joey Hunt. The Rimington Trophy is awarded annually to the nation’s top Center in Division I football who is selected by the Rimington Trophy Committee.
Oklahoma’s Darlington enters 2014 following a season where he appeared in three of 13 games for the Sooners. Farniok was named to the watch list after playing in 11 games for the Cyclones last season including nine starts. He received All-Big 12 Honorable Mention from the coaches, and was voted the team’s top offensive lineman following last season.
Kansas State’s Finny was named to the list following a 2013 campaign that landed him on both the coaches and AP’s All-Big 12 Team. The former walk-on has started 39 games for the Wildcats including the last 38 at center. Texas’ Espinosa is a fourth-year lineman who has played in 39 games with the Horns. TCU’s Hunt was also named to the watch list. Hunt was a second-team All-Academig Big 12 Selection in 2013 after starting 11 games at center for the Frogs.
The winner of the Rimington Trophy will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday, January 17, 2015.