A player from the Big Ten has won the John Mackey Award two of the last three years, but senior Brycen Hopkins is trying to become the first Purdue tight end to win the honor since the award’s inception in 1999.

Hopkins took a major step Monday towards that goal, as he was announced as a semifinalist for the award. Hopkins was the lone B1G tight end on the semifinalist list.

The Mackay Award, which is named after former Syracuse and Baltimore Colts tight end John Mackey, has been given to the top tight end in the country since 2000. Purdue’s Tim Stratton won the first-ever Mackey Award in 2000.

Hopkins has a great shot to become the second Purdue tight end to earn the honor. In addition to his elite blocking skills, he has 45 catches for 561 yards and three touchdowns. Hopkins is second on the team in all of those categories.

His best performance came against Maryland when he hauled in 10 catches for 140 yards. He has four games this season with at least 75 receiving yards.

Iowa and Arkansas are the only programs that have produced multiple Mackey Award winners. T.J. Hockenson gave the Hawkeyes their second Mackey Award recipient last year. Iowa tight end Dallas Clark also earned it in 2002.

A B1G tight end has won the Mackey Award five times, which is more than any other conference.