Florida Gators junior Kyle Pitts ran away with the John Mackey Award, presented to college football’s most outstanding tight end each season, at Thursday night’s College Football Awards.
He won the award over Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar and Texas A&M’s Jalen Wydermyer.
Aaron Hernandez (2009) is the only other Florida player to ever win the Mackey Award.
Despite finishing with 54 receptions a season ago (third most among tight ends), Pitts did not qualify for the award in 2019. In 2020, he made himself a household name with one of the most incredible season’s by a tight end ever.
“Not winning it last year kind of put a chip on my shoulder,” Pitts told Rece Davis. “That was something I took into the offseason. That was something I wrote in my room and in my locker. That’s something I had to win this year.”
Along with the award, Pitts officially became a consensus First-Team All-American as he was recognized by the Walter Camp Football Foundation on Thursday.
In his All-American season, Pitts had 770 receiving yards on 43 catches, averaging an absurd 17.9 yards per catch. He scored 12 touchdowns, which is the second-most by a tight end in SEC history.
Incredibly efficient, he did not drop a single pass all season and only four of his receptions did not result in first downs.
Pitts had three games with 100-plus yards receiving all while playing in just eight contests. He missed three games due to concussion and injury and opted out of the Cotton Bowl to prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Pitts was a part of a strong group of Gators’ receivers, but his absence glared in both the LSU and Oklahoma games.
Even if he didn’t catch a single pass, having his body on the field made Florida a better offense. Pitts became college football’s biggest matchup nightmare in 2020.
He was essentially a wide receiver in a tight end’s body, making him nearly impossible to guard and a top NFL prospect.
Pitts was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award as well and finished in the Top-10 for the Heisman Trophy, which were both won by Alabama star wide receiver DeVonta Smith.
Though he did not take home the Biletnikoff, he joined a short list of players to be a finalist for both awards. Missouri’s Chase Coffman did it last in 2008.
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask also earned recognition during the awards ceremony as a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award, coming in second to Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
Pitts and Trask leave the Gators as two of the most individually successful offensive players in school history.