Syracuse football star Ravian Pierce finally got some recognition with him being named to the ‘Mackey Award Watch List’. Will he reach his potential?
The recognition keeps rolling in for the Syracuse football squad. The latest seeing Syracuse tight end Ravian Pierce named to the Mackey Award Watch List:
"“Named in honor of the Syracuse legend and Pro Football Hall of Fame member, the Mackey Award is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding collegiate tight end.”"
The list was revealed by close friends of the former Syracuse tight end John Mackey. It’s an awesome honor for Pierce to be on this list, but I think it’s even more special because of what Mackey has meant to this program.
For those who don’t know and most probably don’t because it was over 50 years ago, but Mackey was a special talent. The problem is when people look back at the career numbers, they don’t ‘wow you’: 27 receptions for 481 yards and five touchdowns in three seasons.
But we all know it goes beyond the stats and Mackey is widely considered the greatest tight end in college football history. I mean the annual award for the nation’s best tight end is named after him for Pete’s sake.
But getting back to Pierce…
It’s actually kind of strange that he’s finally getting this recognition. Not because he’s not talented enough, because he certainly is. But when you look at how he was used last season with Dino Babers and this offense, it’s puzzling.
Actually historically if you look at Babers’ offenses, they don’t really use the tight end position. That was evident last season with Pierce finishing up with only 29 receptions for 263 yards and four touchdowns. While that was the most receptions at tight end since 2012, that’s pathetic, and shouldn’t be celebrated.
Being a JUCO transfer Pierce only had two years of eligibility remaining and now he’s entering his last season with Syracuse. Time flies when you’re having fun I guess.
Without a doubt, Pierce is the most talented offensive weapon that this Syracuse team posseses. So perhaps the national college football scene is obviously predicting that Babers will buck the trend and feed the beast.
That would be the best idea considering what Pierce can do for this team in three key areas:
- Red Zone
- This is fairly obvious. Pierce is a big bodied guy (6-foot-3, 237 pounds) and he can box out defenders in the red zone for fade opportunities. Or perhaps dominate in a one-on-one situation and work inside for a slant route to body out the secondary.
- The Seam
- This is about being a mismatch nightmare. Pierce is too big for corners and he’s too fast for linebackers. Attacking the seam is a key part of the resume for tight ends because the middle of the field is the sweet spot in any offense.
- Security blanket
- When Eric Dungey is inevitably running for his life and he doesn’t know where to throw the ball, Pierce will be his boy. For example, if Pierce is playing against a zone, he can find a gap in the coverage and just sit there and wait for Dungey to find him as a last resort. Everyone loves security, they pay a bunch of money to protect their house, it gives them a warm and tingly feeling at night knowing everything is going to be okay. That’s what Pierce can be in this offense for Dungey or whoever is playing quarterback.
The recipient of this year’s Mackey Award will be announced on December 5th and then presented live December 6th during The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on ESPNU, per the official press release.