Brock Bowers gets the cold shoulder from Mackey Award

Brock Bowers brings in the catch for a touchdown against the Kentucky Wildcats. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Brock Bowers brings in the catch for a touchdown against the Kentucky Wildcats. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Georgia football true freshman Brock Bowers should be a finalist for the annual John Mackey award presented to the nation’s top tight end, but instead, he got the cold shoulder.

He has not only been a crucial piece to Georgia’s offense through the air, but he is also a weapon they use on the ground because of his speed.

Bowers has a total of 607 offensive yards this season and nine touchdowns. He earned his seventh and eighth receiving touchdown last week to make school history. How is he rewarded for this? The Mackey award left him off their finalist list.

Instead, they chose Charlie Kolar from Iowa State, Trey McBride from Colorado State, and fellow SEC tight end from Texas A&M Jalen Wydermyer.

Kolar and McBride are seniors at their respected schools, and Wydermyer is a junior. While it’s understandable Bowers is a true freshman, he will have many years to win this award. At the same time, it’s kind of ridiculous not to put him as a finalist.

In our opinion, the Aggie got chosen because he is an upperclassman. Bowers is more influential to Georgia’s offense and is an overall better tight end than Wydermyer. Kolar’s stats explain why he is a finalist with 658 yards on 53 catches and five touchdowns.

McBride’s stats tell a similar story as he has 80 catches for 927 yards and one touchdown. While he has only scored once, those 927 yards carry weight, which is a ton of production out of a tight end.

Now let’s look at Wydermyer, who has 36 catches for 491 yards and four scores. Something doesn’t add up in that instance. Bowers has four more receiving touchdowns and 61 more yards. If we include rushing statistics, which we should because Bowers shined there too, the true freshman has 116 more offensive yards and five more touchdowns.

Instead, the Mackey Award did Bowers wrong and chose upperclassmen as their finalist, which is fine and understandable, but it doesn’t mean they got it right.

According to the John Mackey Award criteria,

“A player should be a “true tight end” in the style of John Mackey, play on the interior line with blocking responsibilities and the potential to play tight end on the professional level,” The John Mackey Award criteria document said. “The JMA Selection Committee also considers other John Mackey qualities including, but not limited to, positive sportsmanship, good academic standing and leadership on and off the field.”

There are other qualifications, which seems to be why Bowers got wrongfully excluded. It seems because he has gotten used in the run game, that doesn’t make him a “true tight end.”

We’re speculating here, but being more productive and versatile it makes them less of a true tight end — yeah, that doesn’t make sense to us.

Bowers got snubbed, and while he will probably be a finalist the next two seasons, it’s still not cool for the committee to leave him out as he clearly was more productive and meaningful to the Dawgs offense than Wydermyer is to the Aggies.

Plus, Bowers’ ability to block continues to shine as the season progresses. He has gotten better at blocking and laid some really impressive ones down in the last two weeks alone. Bowers is everything the John Mackey award embodies, yet he gets left off for what reason?

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There will likely never be a reason, but it isn’t right to leave off one of the best tight ends in the country because he is a freshman. Bowers is a force on the football field and a guy who deserves some credit. With the Mackey Award leaving him off as a finalist, maybe the true freshman can win the SEC Freshman of the Year award instead.