Niklas named a Mackey Award semi-finalist

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A season after teammate Tyler Eifert was named the Mackey Award winner for the best tight end in the country, teammate Troy Niklas was named a semi-finalist. The 6-foot-7, 270-pound junior was one of eight named to the final list.

In his second season at the position, Niklas has 25 catches for 390 yards and five touchdowns, his first year in the starting lineup after apprenticing behind Eifert. In addition to his impressive season as a receiver, Niklas might be one of the country’s most physical blockers at the position.

Other semi-finalists include:

Jace Amaro, Jr. (Texas Tech)
Ted Bolser, Sr. (Indiana)
Eric Ebron, Jr. (North Carolina)
Devin Funchess, Soph. (Michigan)
Gator Hoskins, Sr. (Marshall)
Nick O’Leary, Jr. (Florida State)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jr. (Washington)

The Mackey Award featured Notre Dame tight ends for almost as long as they’ve been handing out the trophy. Before winning the award, Eifert was a finalist. Before that, Kyle Rudolph was a two-time semi-finalist for the award in both 2010 and 2009. Both John Carlson (2006) and Anthony Fasano (2005) were finalists as well for the award.

Three finalists will be named November 25, with the award handed out on December 12 at the Home Depot College Football Awards.