BLACKSBURG, Va. (CBS19 Sports) -- Virginia Tech junior Dalton Keene was named to the Mackey Award watch list, given to the nation's top tight end.
The Mackey Award watch list, announced on Friday, includes 55 of the top tight ends in college football.
In 2018, Keene received honorable mention All-ACC accolades. He registered 19 catches for 302 yards (15.9 avg.), 82 receiving yards, and three touchdowns.
Coming off of a season filled with injuries, the Hokies have new leadership emerging from Keene.
Keene is healthy entering the 2019 football season, and has been using the time off to continue to progress.
"This off-season a big thing for me was just getting healthy," Keene said. "I had a minor knee deal that took me out for a little bit. Again, it was something minor. Now my whole body is feeling better than ever."
At ACC Media Day, Keene spoke about how it's his experience, rather than his age, that's led him to become a leader of the offense and the Hokies football program:
"There's a really good chance to get some rest and work on some other aspects of my game like my leadership, coaching the young guys," Keene said.