LEXINGTON – University of Kentucky sophomore tight end C.J. Conrad has been named the John Mackey Tight End of the Week after a career game last Saturday against New Mexico State, it was announced by the John Mackey Award Committee on Wednesday.
Conrad caught five passes for 133 yards and three touchdowns – all career highs – in Kentucky’s 62-42 win over NMSU. It was the first 100-yard game for Conrad, who earned third-team Freshman All-America honors last season. Back in July, Conrad was named to the 2016 John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List, which annually honors the most outstanding collegiate tight end.
In the first quarter, Conrad took a short pass from quarterback Stephen Johnson and outraced defenders down the sideline for a 72-yard touchdown, the longest play of his career. In the second quarter, the native of LaGrange, Ohio, took a short pass and darted into the end zone for a nine-yard score. Finally, in the third quarter, Conrad took a screen pass and deftly weaved his way through traffic before bulling into the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown.
The performance by Conrad was one of the best by a Kentucky tight end in some time as he became the first UK tight end with three touchdowns in a game since first-team All-American James Whalen in 1999. Conrad’s 133 receiving yards was the third-most by a tight end in a game in school history, while Conrad is the only UK player to have at least 133 receiving yards and three touchdowns in Commonwealth Stadium history.
On the season, Conrad has played in all three games with one start, making six catches for 138 yards and three touchdowns. For his career, Conrad has played in 15 games with 10 starts and has 21 catches for 287 yards and four touchdowns.
The John Mackey Tight End of the Week is an honor distinct and different from the annual John Mackey Award. This weekly honor was started in 2004 to draw attention to individual play by tight ends during the active season. The Tight End of the Week acknowledgment does not have a direct bearing on the final John Mackey Award selection process. The John Mackey Tight End of the Week honor will run until the announcement of the eight semifinalist in November.