NEW YORK, N.Y. (WBKO) --- WKU Football junior tight end Kyle Fourtenbary has been named to the 2019 John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List, it was announced on Friday. The Opelika, Ala., native is 1-of-60 student-athletes to be listed, including only 1-of-5 from Conference USA.
Fourtenbary enters the 2019 campaign with 44 receptions for 398 yards and two touchdowns in his career on The Hill. As a sophomore in 2018, the Opelika, Ala., native made 36 catches for 302 yards and two scores, while also adding a two-point conversion.
Last year, Fourtenbary started in 11 contests and playing in all 12 games, recording multiple receptions in nine games and 20-plus receiving yards in eight contests. His two scores came on Sept. 15 at Louisville and on Oct. 20 vs. Old Dominion, respectively. Fourtenbary had career highs of six catches and 54 yards against the Monarchs, as well as a long reception of 28 yards on Sept. 22 at Ball State.
Former Hilltoppers honored by the John Mackey Award include:
Mik’Quan Deane, who was a John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List member in 2018, before he had 44 receptions for 530 yards and six touchdowns.
Deon Yelder, who was named John Mackey Tight End of the Week on Oct. 14, 2017, when he had seven receptions for 92 yards and one touchdown in WKU’s 45-14 victory vs. Charlotte. Yelder was also named Honorable Mention Tight End of the Week twice during his senior year, when he had 52 receptions for 688 yards and seven touchdowns.
Tyler Higbee, who was a John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List member in 2015, before he had 38 receptions for 563 yards and eight touchdowns. Higbee was named John Mackey Tight End of Week on Sept. 3, 2015, when he had four receptions for 102 yards and one touchdown in WKU’s 14-12 victory at Vanderbilt.
Mitchell Henry, who was a John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List member in 2014, before he had 32 receptions for 489 yards and four touchdowns. Henry was named John Mackey Tight End of the Week on Sept. 13, 2014, when he had seven receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns in WKU’s 50-47 triple-overtime loss at Middle Tennessee.
Jack Doyle, who was a John Mackey Award Semifinalist in 2012, when he had 53 receptions for 566 yards and five touchdowns. Doyle was named John Mackey Tight End of the Week on Oct. 6, 2011, when he had six receptions for 100 yards in WKU’s 36-33 double-overtime victory at Middle Tennessee.
Given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end, the award recipient has been selected by a vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee since 2000. The 2018 Mackey Award recipient will be announced on Dec. 11, and then presented live on Dec. 12 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on ESPNU.
NFL Hall of Fame member John Mackey is considered to be the best to have played the tight end position. A tight end by whom all others are measured, Mackey was a role model on and off the field as demonstrated by his Super Bowl Championship, his commitment to the community and his place in history as the first President of the NFLPA.
The Hilltoppers open the campaign with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on Thursday, August 29 vs. Central Arkansas in the debut of new head coach Tyson Helton. WKU returns 16 starters on offense and defense, the third-most nationally, while the team's 10 returning starters on offense rank as the most in the nation.