LAWRENCE | Kansas tight end Mike Ragone has yet to play a down for the Jayhawks – or even see his name on KU’s depth chart.
But that didn’t prevent Ragone, a senior transfer from Notre Dame, from appearing on the 2012 John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List.
The Mackey Award is given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end. Selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee, the 2012 winner will be presented live on December 6 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show. The next cut will come on Nov. 12, when the semifinalists are announced.
So how did Ragone end up on the list? Perhaps it says something about his reputation — and the ability of KU coach Charlie Weis to utilize the tight end.
Ragone, 6 feet 4 and 250 pounds, made just 11 catches for 109 yards during five injury-plague seasons at Notre Dame. He missed the entire 2008 season with knee issues, and then played just one game in 2011. His career high came in 2009, when he hauled in six passes for 60 yards.
Still, Ragone was one of the most sought-after high school tight ends in the country when Weis plucked him out of Cherry Hill, N.J., and brought him to Notre Dame in 2007. He'll be eligible for one season at KU after graduating from Notre Dame and using the graduate transfer rule.
During spring football, sophomore Jimmay Mundine was listed as the starter at tight end. But that was before Ragone arrived on campus this summer. Meanwhile, Charles Brooks, a St. Louis native and juco transfer from Scottsdale Community College, could also have the opportunity to battle for snaps.