Notre Dame tight end Troy Niklas was named a semifinalist for the Mackey Award, given annually to college football's best tight end and won last year by Tyler Eifert.
The other semifinalists are: Jace Amaro (Texas Tech), Ted Bolser (Indiana), Eric Ebron (North Carolina), Devin Funchess (Michigan), Gator Hoskins (Marshall), Nick O'Leary (Florida State) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington).
Niklas would appear to be a longshot to actually win the award, considering the gaudy numbers put up by Amaro (92 catches, 1,157 yards, 6 TDs). Ebron and Funchess are the only other tight ends to rank among college football's top pass-catchers (by receiving yards/game), while Hoskins has the most touchdowns (9).
Other less-quantifiable factors such as run and pass blocking are considered for the award, too.
Niklas has 25 receptions for 390 yards and five touchdowns this season. Since 1956, only one Notre Dame tight end has caught six touchdowns -- Ken MacAfee, in 1977.