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Theo Johnson Included on Mackey Award Watch List

The Mackey Award is given annually to the nation’s best tight end.

Michigan State v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Penn State tight end Theo Johnson is the latest Nittany Lion to receive some national preseason recognition. Johnson has been selected for the Mackey Award Watch List, which is awarded to the nation’s best tight end following the regular season.

Johnson has the ability to create match-up problems thanks to his wide receiver-type athleticism in a 6-6, 264 lb. package. He’s the classic example of “too big to be covered by a defensive back, too fast to be covered by a linebacker” that makes him so dangerous as a pass catcher.

The Ontario native came on strong for the Nittany Lions in the second half of the season once he recovered from minor injuries and found his fit in Mike Yurcich’s new offense. Johnson had a season-high 75 receiving yards against Minnesota in front of the White Out crowd, that included an 18-yard score. He finished the regular season with a two touchdown performance against Michigan State, which helped propel the Nittany Lions to the Rose Bowl.

Johsnon finished the season with 20 catches for 328 yards and four touchdowns, while sharing the load with Brenton Strange and Tyler Warren.