New York, N.Y.----- San Jose State University's Billy Freeman, the Spartans' leading pass receiver this season, is one of eight semifinalists for the 2015 John Mackey Award given annually to college football's outstanding tight end.
Freeman has 36 receptions for 412 yards and five touchdowns. With two regular season games remaining at Hawaii on November 21 and vs. Boise State on November 27, the 232-pound junior from Mesa, Ariz., already has personal single-season bests in total receptions and touchdown catches. He is 15 receiving yards shy of matching his freshman total of 427 receiving yards in 2013.
This season, Freeman was a three-time John Mackey Weekly Honor Roll honorable mention selection for his role in the wins over Fresno State (9/30), UNLV (10/14) and New Mexico (10/28). He is the first San Jose State player to be named a semifinalist for the award.
The John Mackey Award is named after the Baltimore Colts Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end who revolutionized the position in the 1960's with his combination of pass catching and blocking. After retiring as a player he would go on to become the first president of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA).
The seven other semifinalists are Jake Butt of Michigan, Hunter Henry of Arkansas, Austin Hooper of Stanford, O.J. Howard of Alabama, Jordan Leggett of Clemson and Jake McGee of Florida.
Finalists will be named on November 24. The 2015 John Mackey Award winner will be announced on December 9 and presented on The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show the following night in Atlanta, Ga.