Iowa Tight End Hockenson Wins Mackey Award
Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson made history on Wednesday as he became the first sophomore to win the Mackey Award for the best tight end in college football. Hockenson joins Dallas Clark as the only two Hawkeyes to win the award. Iowa is only the second college program ever to have two Mackey winners.
Hockenson led Iowa with 46 receptions, 717 yards, and 6 touchdowns. But some of his best stats aren't quite as obvious. He had the fourth most receiving yards on third down in the country this season. He was targeted 16 times on third down calls. He came up with a first down on 15 of those targets. And Hockenson can block too. He's the complete tight end package.
So now comes the questions that Iowa fans don't want to have to discuss. Will Hockenson use his Mackey Award to springboard himself to the NFL? His fellow Iowa tight end Noah Fant is sitting out Iowa's Outback Bowl appearance and has declared for the draft already. I don't see Hockenson sitting out the bowl game. I feel that he would have made that announcement already. But should he go pro? Iowa fans should be prepared for that too. There is no guarantee that if Hockenson came back for his junior year at Iowa, that he would have near the success and numbers he did this year. And of course, there is the risk of injury.
No matter what he chooses to do, Iowa fans will still be proud. Congrats T.J.!