So far this season, Pitt's offense has done a good job in utilizing the tight ends. Seems some national folks are taking notice as senior J.P. Holtz has been named to the midseason Mackey Award watch list.
The Mackey Award is given to the top tight end in college football.
Nearly halfway through the year, Holtz is on pace for the best season of his career. His nine catches aren't quite on target to reach the 23 he had as a sophomore, but he's making up for things in other ways and is making more of his catches. His 15.3 yards per reception are easily a career-best so far. Because of that, he's on pace for a career-best in total yards (331 over a 12-game season). Plus with two touchdowns already, he will have a shot at topping the four he had last season.
Ironically, the Panthers' other tight end, Scott Orndoff, is having just as good of a season but wasn't nominated. Orndoff's six catches aren't as many as what Holtz has, but his 167 yards and three touchdowns are both ahead of Holtz.
Because the two are splitting targets, it's very difficult to see either one winning the award. Collectively, they are putting up award-winning numbers, but individually, they will be hard-pressed to put up the type of numbers needed to win.
Orndoff will have a chance to get back into the discussion since we're only at the mid-point of the season, but for now, Holtz gets the recognition.