Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

Cardenas named to preseason watch list for John Mackey Award

NEW YORK — UTSA senior tight end Oscar Cardenas has been named to the preseason watch list for the John Mackey Award for the second straight season, The Friends of John Mackey announced on Friday.
Cardenas is one of 48 players, including one of two from the American Athletic Conference, selected for the list for the award given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end.
A product of San Antonio Brandeis High School, Cardenas is coming off his most productive season for the Roadrunners. He started all 14 contests and caught 31 passes for 438 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 14.1 yards per reception en route to honorable mention All-Conference USA honors. He hauled in six passes for 84 yards and a TD in the 48-27 victory over North Texas in the C-USA Championship Game, and he had four receptions for 86 yards, including a season-long 54-yard catch, in the 44-38 double-overtime win at UAB.
As a redshirt sophomore in 2021, Cardenas played in all 14 games and made four starts. He logged 16 receptions for 233 yards and two touchdowns during the season, and he caught the game-winning TD reception on a tipped pass with three seconds left in the 34-31 victory over UAB that secured the C-USA West Division crown. He will enter his senior season with 50 catches for 717 yards and four scores.

Established in 2000 by the Nassau County Sports Commission, the award is given to the tight end who best exemplifies the play, sportsmanship, academics and community values of Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey. The winner is voted on by a selection committee comprising of current sportswriters and former players. 
Under the direction of two-time conference coach of the year Jeff Traylor, the Roadrunners are coming off an 11-3 campaign that saw them capture their second straight Conference USA crown and play in a bowl game for the third year in a row. UTSA has been ranked in the top 25 in each of the last two seasons and boasts a combined 23 wins over that span, the fourth-best total among all FBS teams behind only Georgia (29), Michigan (25) and Alabama (24).
The Roadrunners have been picked to finish second in the AAC Preseason Media Poll and will kick off their 13th season of play on Saturday, Sept. 2, when they travel to Houston to face the Cougars at 6 p.m. at TDECU Stadium. 
UTSA will face Texas State for the home opener at 2:30 p.m. the following Saturday at the Alamodome. The Roadrunners will host Army at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15, UAB on Oct. 14, East Carolina on Oct. 28, Rice on Nov. 11 and South Florida at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17.
Season and single-game tickets are on sale now by calling 210-458-UTSA (8872) or visiting
2023 John Mackey Award Watch List
Erick All, Iowa
Elijah Arroyo, Miami
AJ Barner, Michigan
Gavin Bartholomew, Pitt
Jaheim Bell, Florida State
Brock Bowers, Georgia
Jake Briningstool, Clemson
Sean Brown, Jacksonville State
Oscar Cardenas, UTSA
Jalin Conyers, Arizona
John Copenhaver, North Carolina
Devin Culp, Washington
Oscar Delp, Georgia
CJ Dipper, Alabama
Mason Fairchild, Kansas
Rivaldo Fairweather, Auburn
Terrance Ferguson, Oregon
Nick Gallo, Virginia Tech
Donovan Green, Texas A&M
Brady Hunt, Ball State
Neal Johnson, Louisiana
Theo Johnson, Penn State
Trey Knox, South Carolina
Brant Kuite, Utah
Luke Lachey, Iowa
Johnny Langan, Rutgers
Colston Loveland, Michigan
David Martin-Robinson, Temple
Josiah Miamen, FIU
Bryson Nesbit, North Carolina
Trent Pennix, NC State
Caden Prieskorn, Ole Miss
Mark Redman, San Diego State
Tip Reiman, Illinois
Isaac Rex, BYU
Carson Ryan, UCLA
Ja'Tavion Sanders, Texas
Ben Sinnott, Kansas
Brevyn Spann-Ford, Minnesota
Austin Stogner, Oklahoma
Cade Stover, Ohio State
George Takacs, Boston College
Mason Tayor, LSU
Michael Trigg, Ole Miss
Jacob Warren, Tennessee
Jared Wiley, TCU
Thomas Yasmin, Utah
Benjamin Yurosek, Stanford