Penn State joined Oklahoma and Oregon as the only two schools with multiple selections to the 40-player preseason watch list.
The Mackey Award honors outstanding athletic prowess on the field, along with positive sportsmanship-like behavior, good academic standing & exceptional leadership abilities. The award recipient is determined by confidential balloting of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee, which is composed of respected members of the media and former NFL players.
James enters his junior campaign as the team's leading returnee in receptions and receiving yards, and was named pre-season All-Big Ten by Sporting News, which selected one all-conference team, earlier this offseason. James has made 18 starts in his initial two seasons, tied for fourth-highest on the squad.
The former South Allegheny High School standout made 25 catches for 333 yards and three touchdowns in 2013, starting every game. His 13.3-yard average was second only to All-America wideout Allen Robinson. James made at least two receptions in eight games last season, including a career-best six catches and grabbing his first touchdown of the season in the four-overtime win over No. 18 Michigan. He gained a season-high 67 yards against the Wolverines, including the 20-yard TD reception.
Carter was tied for third on the team with 18 receptions for 222 yards and one game-winning touchdown. A strong and improved blocker and receiver, he was a mid-season candidate for the John Mackey Award, after being the only freshman on the award’s mid-season watch list in 2012. The vastly talented and athletic Carter was a consensus Freshman All-American during the 2012 campaign.
Limited by an arm injury suffered in the 2013 season-opener against Syracuse, Carter did not miss a game for the Nittany Lions. He tied his career-high with six catches for a season-high 79 yards at Indiana, including a 26-yard catch to set up a score. Carter caught the game-winning touchdown pass against Illinois, a 15-yarder from Christian Hackenberg in overtime.
The John Mackey Award is named after NFL Hall of Famer John Mackey, who is considered to be the best to have played the tight end position. Mackey was a role model on and off the field as demonstrated by his Super Bowl Championship, his commitment to community and his place in history as the first President of the NFLPA.
The 2014 John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List will be announced on October 13, semifinalists will be named on November 17 and finalists chosen on November 24. The award will be presented live on ESPNU on December 11 during The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show.
With Carter and James’ selection the Nittany Lions now have four players on preseason watch lists. The watch list for the Maxwell and Bednarik Award include sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg (Palmyra, Va.) and junior cornerback Jordan Lucas (New Rochelle, N.Y.), respectively.
--Penn State Athletic Communications
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