MANHASSETT, N.Y. - Senior tight end Branden Ledbetter was named a semi-finalist for the John Mackey Award, bestowed upon the nation's best tight end according to the Nassau County Sports Commission (NCSC).
In 10 games this season, Ledbetter has a career-best 44 receptions for 458 yards and six touchdowns. This season marked the third-straight season that Ledbetter had recorded six receiving TDs in a season. He is the all-time leader for TD receptions by a tight end at WMU with 20 and is currently among all receivers. He is one of only four Bronco receivers to ever register 20 or more touchdown grabs.
This is the first time Ledbetter has been named a semi-finalist for the John Mackey Award. He has been named John Mackey National Tight End of the Week twice in his career, including once this season after hauling in the game-winning touchdown in WMU's comeback win in overtime at Buffalo on Oct. 11.
The NCSC announced eight semi-finalists for the 2008 John Mackey Award. Listed alphabetically, they are Chase Coffman (JR, Missouri), Jared Cook (JR, South Carolina), Jermaine Gresham (JR, Oklahoma), Mark Hafner (SR, Houston), Branden Ledbetter (SR, Western Michigan), Brandon Pettigrew (SR, Oklahoma State), Dennis Pitta (JR, BYU) and D.J. Williams (SO, Arkansas).
The eight semi-finalists were determined by confidential balloting of the John Mackey Selection Committee. The 2008 recipient of “The Mackey” will be announced on December 11, 2008 at the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show live on ESPN and presented at the Nassau County Sports Commission Annual Awards Dinner on April 27, 2009.
The John Mackey Award is given to the collegiate tight end who best exemplifies the play, sportsmanship, academics, and community values of NFL Hall of Fame Tight End John Mackey. The Nassau County Sports Commission is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that promotes sports and healthy lifestyle for Nassau County residents and is responsible for the administration of the John Mackey Award and the John Mackey Award Selection Committee.