The John Mackey Award committee agrees with Iowa fans and people with common sense everywhere: TJ Hockenson is the best tight end in the nation.
The committee confirmed these assumptions when they handed the award to the redshirt sophomore from Chariton, Iowa on Wednesday afternoon.
2018 @JohnMackeyAward Winner is T.J. Hockenson of Iowa! T.J. is the 1st sophomore in history to win award and @HawkeyeFootball becomes the second school in history to claim two Mackey trophies. Check out the live presentation tomorrow at 6pm EST on @ESPNU https://t.co/AYWn37xrqF pic.twitter.com/BXCduZlkgo— John Mackey Award (@JohnMackeyAward) December 5, 2018
Hockenson is the first sophomore to win the award, and the second Hawkeye to do so. Dallas Clark earned the hardware way back in 2002.
Hockenson led Iowa this season with 46 receptions for 717 yards and 6 touchdowns. His only real competition for the award was Texas A&M’s Jace Sternberger, who hauled in 47 catches for 800 yards and 10 scores.
Hockenson lit up box scores this year, but his most impressive stats are hidden: Hockenson had the fourth-most receiving yards on third down in the country this year. He was targeted on third down 16 times this year, and came up with a first down 15 of those times. So yeah, he’s pretty reliable.
We’re pretty big fans of TJ Hockenson here at the Pants. So we’re pretty excited to congratulate him on the honor. Hockenson is amassing a pretty stuffed trophy case: he’s already won the Newsome Award, also given to then nation’s top tight end, and he received the Kwalick-Clark award last week, given to the best tight end in the Big Ten.
Congrats to TJ Hockenson. Let’s crush Mississippi State.