Oct. 15, 2013
NEW YORK, N.Y. – As Colorado State’s 2013 football campaign has progressed, junior quarterback Garrett Grayson has developed a pair of favorite targets in tight ends Kivon Cartwright and Crockett Gillmore.
On Tuesday morning, both CSU tight ends were named to the John Mackey Award midseason watch list, an honor given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end.
The midseason watch list features 29 players, including three from the Mountain West (Cartwright, Gillmore and Fresno State’s Marcel Jensen). Cartwright and Gillmore are the only pair of teammates on the midseason watch list. This is only the second time in the last six years that teammates were named among the nation’s best tight ends.
Cartwright has hauled in 14 receptions for 230 yards and five touchdowns. The native of Pueblo, Colo., who won John Mackey Tight End of the Week honors after his two-touchdown performance vs. UTEP, leads all Mountain West tight ends with 230 yards receiving. His five touchdowns tie for 21st nationally and are the most among tight ends in the NCAA.
Cartwright became the first Rams player to record back-to-back games with multiple receiving touchdowns since Paul Turner in 1995.
“When Coach (Art) Valero got here we talked about two tight end system, based on what we watched with (Rob) Gronkowski and (Aaron) Hernandez,” Gillmore said. “That’s all we want to be; we have those body types. Kivon put in a lot of work in the off-season and I expected him to be on the watch list before the season but I’m glad he’s on it now. I expect him to go out and win it. That is how good of a tight end he is.”
For Gillmore, a native of Bushland, Texas, this is the third time he has earned a spot on the John Mackey Award midseason watch list. In 2011, the 6-foot-6 255-pounder represented the Rams on the midseason watch list after pulling down 24 receptions for 256 yards. Last season, Gillmore found himself on the watch list seven games into the season, registering 14 receptions for 205 yards and two touchdowns.
This season Gillmore is second among tight ends in the Mountain West, behind Cartwright, with 226 receiving yards. He registered his first touchdown on Oct. 12 vs. San Jose State which gave the Rams a lead in the early going. Gillmore has dramatically improved his blocking skills and is a big reason CSU has racked up nearly 1,000 yards on the ground.
“It is an honor to be appointed to the watch list for the highest honor a tight end can get but at the same time I’m in it to win a bowl game,” Gillmore said. “If you don’t go out and win a bowl game nothing else matters.”
“Crockett is an elite tight end and I’ve learned a lot from him,” Cartwright said. “Having both of us on this watch list speaks to the job Coach (Dave) Baldwin, Coach (Jim) McElwain and Coach Valero are doing.”
The 2013 John Mackey Award recipient will be presented live on Dec. 12 at the Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show at 4 p.m. MT on ESPNU. Other key dates include the announcement of the semi-finalists on Nov. 18 and the finalists a week later on Nov. 25.
The John Mackey Award midseason watch list is an update from the preseason watch list. This list is meant to draw attention to tight ends in contention for the annual award based on their performance in the first half of the season.
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