THE CHAMP IS HERE. Or at least The John Mackey Award Winner is here. T.J. Hockenson is your NEW John Mackey Award winner for 2018:
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 becomes the first-ever sophomore to win the award and is the second Iowa player to win the award (after Dallas Clark in 2002). Iowa and Arkansas (who won the award in 2010 with D.J. Williams and again in 2015 with Hunter Henry) are the only programs to be home to two John Mackey Award winners.
When Hockenson was announced as a finalist last month, we thought he had an excellent chance to be named the winner, based on how his numbers compared to the other finalists. That remained trued after the regular season was completed:
|T.J. Hockenson, Iowa||46||717||15.6||6|
|Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri||43||466||10.8||6|
|Kaden Smith, Stanford||47||635||13.5||2|
Pretty hard to argue with Hockenson winning out over the other two, frankly. The award joins the Big Ten Tight End of the Year honor that Hockenson won last week. Hockenson also won the Ozzie Newsome Award from the Touchdown Club of Columbus a few days ago:
Seems like he might be pretty good at this football thing! Hockenson has been a joy to watch this year and we'll have one more opportunity to watch him, against Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl. After that he'll have a big decision to make about going pro and entering the NFL Draft or returning for another season in Iowa City. Whatever he decides, we'll wish him the best.
In the meantime, do you need to see some Hockenson GIFs? I think you do.
He leaps defenders in a single bound!
Seriously, he loved jumping over dudes:
Hockenson loved to hurdle lowly defenders. Here's a nice one against Northwestern. pic.twitter.com/u1jxkAOPLC— Jordan Hansen (@jordyhansen) November 28, 2018
He could outrun defenders too:
Hockenson, meanwhile, had this 54-yard catch, his longest reception of the season. His speed is certainly on display here. pic.twitter.com/DBHBlnL2jH— Jordan Hansen (@jordyhansen) November 28, 2018
Hockenson had just two catches against for Illinois. The both went for touchdowns, however, including this 37-yard score in the middle of the second quarter. pic.twitter.com/OoKNVR2D5c— Jordan Hansen (@jordyhansen) November 28, 2018
He flattened defenders who dared to challenge him, too.
Need a clutch catch? Yep, he did that too:
Late in the game against Nebraska, Iowa needed a play on fourth down. Hockenson made that happen. pic.twitter.com/TW2VONXjWk— Jordan Hansen (@jordyhansen) November 28, 2018
And he could get a little tricky too:
Congrats on the Mackey Award, T.J.