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Jesse James and Kyle Carter Named to John Mackey Award Watch List

Both of Penn State's junior tight ends are on the list for the top tight end in the country.

Mike McGinnis

On day two of "Watch List Season", two more Nittany Lions have been named among the best in the country at their position.  Jesse James and Kyle Carter will enter their junior seasons as candidates for the Mackey Award, which is presented to the nation's top tight end.

James enters the season as Penn State's top returning receiver, with 25 receptions, 333 yards, and 3 touchdowns in his sophomore season. The 6'7" junior out of South Allegheney High School has 40 receptions in his career, for 609 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Fellow junior Kyle Carter will look to return to his freshman year form after suffering through numerous injuries in the 2013 season. After earning Freshman All American honors in 2012 with a 36 catch, 453 yard, 2 touchdown season, Carter struggled through his sophomore campaign while recovering from a wrist injury suffered late in 2012, and then a serious elbow injury in the 2013 opener vs. Syracuse. Despite the setbacks, Carter did haul in 18 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown. He was also a preseason candidate for the award in 2013.

James and Carter join quarterback Christian Hackenberg and cornerback Jordan Lucas as preseason watch

The tight end position was of course a focal point of Coach O'Brien's offense the previous two seasons, but with two Mackey Award candidates, as well as sophomore Adam Breneman, and incoming freshman Mike Gesicki, expect more big things from the position in 2014 in the revamped offense.