New York, N.Y.----- San Jose State University senior tight end Billy Freeman, a 2015 John Mackey Award semifinalist, is one of 45 candidates named to this year's award Preseason Watch List.
The John Mackey Award recognizes the best tight end in college football and is named after the Pro Football Hall of Famer who revolutionized the position in the 1960's as a Baltimore Colt and went on to become the first president of the National Football League's Players Association (NFLPA).
Freeman led San Jose State in every major pass receiving categories last season. He caught 48 passes for 586 yards and six touchdowns. The Mesa, Ariz., product was named a John Mackey Weekly Tight End of the Week honorable mention honoree three times during season. Freeman was named first-team All-Mountain West and an honorable mention All-America by SI.com.
The two-year starter for the Spartans was the only tight end from a Group of Five conference school named as one of the eight semifinalists for the 2015 John Mackey Award. Michigan's Jake Butt, Virginia Tech's Bucky Hodges, Alabama's O.J. Howard and Clemson's Jordan Leggett are four more 2015 semifinalists returning for the 2016 season.
Freeman is on the John Mackey Award Watch List for the second time. He was named to the Watch List in 2014 after a superb freshman season when caught 27 passes for 427 yards an two touchdowns.
This year's award winner will be announced on December 7 and presented the next night at the annual Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on ESPNU.