Stanford senior tight end Zach Ertz has been named one of three finalists for the John Mackey Award by the Nassau County Sports Commission. The John Mackey Award is given annually to the nation's most outstanding collegiate tight end.
Ertz leads Stanford in receiving this season with 58 receptions, which is tied for first among FBS tight ends. His team-high 747 yards rank second nationally for tight ends, while he has led Stanford in receiving in six of 11 games in 2012.
The 6-foot-6 senior has six touchdowns on the year, including the game-winning scores against both No. 2 USC and No. 13 Oregon State. Ertz also caught the game-tying fourth-quarter touchdown last Saturday in the Cardinal's overtime win at No. 1 Oregon, capping four receptions and 53 yards on the dramatic drive.
Following his performance in Eugene, Ertz was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. His 71 yards and fourth-quarter touchdown against USC earned him John Mackey Tight End of the Week honors.
Ertz has caught 16 passes of 15-plus yards this season and four of 25-plus yards. His receptions have been responsible for 34 Stanford first downs. In the red zone, Ertz has been at his best with 10 receptions and five touchdowns in 2012.
Last year, Coby Fleener for Stanford was a semifinalist of the 2011 John Mackey Award. He was selected as the first overall tight end in the 2012 NFL Draft this past April by the Indianapolis Colts. Fleener is one of six tight ends currently in the NFL who are Stanford alumni.
The other 2012 finalists are Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington).
The 2012 recipient of the John Mackey Award will be announced at the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Red Carpet Show Dec. 6 on ESPNU.
Zach Ertz and No. 11 Stanford next visit No. 15 UCLA on Saturday in the Cardinal's regular-season finale and a play-in opportunity for the Pac-12 Football Championship Game. Kickoff is 3:30 p.m. (FOX).