Troy Mangen and Ethan Wolf have something more in common than being former area high school football standouts. Both have landed on the 2016 John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List.
Mangen, a 6-foot-5, 258-pound redshirt junior, is a Northmont High School graduate and redshirt junior tight end at Ohio University. Wolf, 6-6, 245, is a Minster graduate and junior tight end at Tennessee.
They are among 45 collegiate players named to the list, released Wednesday.
Despite missing last season after suffering a preseason knee injury, Mangen was one of five Mid-American Conference players chosen. He had 19 catches for 147 yards and started 10 of 12 games in 2014.
“I’m pretty much full go,” said Mangen, who tore the ACL in his right knee. “There’s nothing that’s holding me back now. Especially with not playing last year, I’ve just been really focused on getting back to where I was and getting better.”
Wolf has started 23 of 25 games in his career with the Volunteers, including all 12 regular-season games last season, when he had 23 catches for 301 yards and two touchdowns. In 2014 he was the first true freshman starter at tight end in Tennessee program history. His younger brother Eli Wolf is a redshirt freshman tight end at Tennessee.
OU opens the season Sept. 3 by hosting Texas State at Peden Stadium in Athens. Tennessee begins its season by hosting Appalachian State at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Thursday, Sept. 1. OU plays at Tennessee on Saturday, Sept. 17.
“It’s definitely an honor,” said Mangen, whose older brother Clay Mangen runs the Northmont strength program and also is the Thunderbolts’ tight ends coach. “Just to see the people you’re put in company with, it was a very humbling experience.”
A selection committee will vote on the winner, which will be announced on Dec. 7 and presented on Dec. 8 on The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show (ESPNU). It is one of 22 awards sponsored by the National College Football Awards Association.