Two Chippewas named to college football preseason watch lists


Junior tight end Tyler Conklin catches the ball during the game against UNLV on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Kelly / Shorts Stadium.

Two Central Michigan players were recognized on college football preseason watch lists.

Senior tight end Tyler Conklin earned a spot on the John Mackey Award list, while senior center Austin Doan cracked the watch list for the Rimington Trophy.

Conklin is one of five Mid-American Conference players that made the Mackey Award watch list. The Chesterfield native is one of 55 players who made the list.

The Mackey Award is named in honor of NFL Hall of Famer John Mackey, the first president of the NFL Players Association. The award is given out to the most outstanding tight end in College Football. The winner will be announced Dec. 6.

In his junior season in 2016, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Conklin caught 42 passes for 560 yards. The Northwood University transfer reeled in six touchdowns, which was second on the team behind senior wide receiver Corey Willis. Conklin ranked third on the team in receptions and reception yards.

Doan is one of 70 centers in the country to be listed on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, which is given to the top center in college football. Doan is one of nine players to make the list from the MAC, which had the most players from any conference named to the watch list for the award.

The trophy is named in honor of former Nebraska center Dave Rimington, a two-time All-American and the only center in college football history to have twice earned the Outland Trophy -- given annually to the game’s top lineman.

Doan started nine games for CMU in 2016 and helped the team to a 6-7 record (3-5 MAC), including an appearance in the Miami Beach Bowl.

CMU opens the 2017 season against Rhode Island at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.


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