In 2013 Gio Ricci catches a pass for a touchdown late in the 4th quarter against the Zanesville Blue Devils. The Tiger win sent them to the State Championship. (Loveland Magazine File Photo by David Burig)

by Cassie Mattia

New York, N.Y. – A talented LHS graduate joined the ranks of 8 semi-finalists for the 2019 John Mackey Award. The candidates are as follows: Harrison Bryant (SR, Florida Atlantic), Hunter Bryant (JR, Washington), Brycen Hopkins (SR, Purdue), Brevin Jordan (SO, Miami), Charlie Kolar (SO, Iowa St), Albert Okwuegbunam (JR, Missouri), Colby Parkinson (JR, Stanford) and Giovanni Ricci (SR, Western Michigan and Loveland High School). The 8 semi-finalists were selected by the John Mackey Award Selection Committee through confidential balloting. The recipient will be announced on December 11th and presented live December 12th at The Home Depot Red Carpet Show at 6 PM ET on ESPNU.

The Western Michigan Football program recently spoke about Ricci’s impressive sports resume.

Among tight ends nationally, Ricci enters this week tied for the lead in receiving touchdowns with eight, tied for third in receptions with 45 and third in receiving yards with 611.
A native of Loveland, Ohio, Ricci ranks third within the Mid-American Conference in third-down receptions (15) and third in catches resulting in a first down (29). Ricci’s team-high 611 receiving yards are the third most in the MAC.
In 43 career games as a Bronco, Ricci has totaled 92 receptions for 1,083 yards and 11 touchdowns.  His 2019 season has been highlighted by a career-high 105 receiving yards on eight catches at Syracuse and two-touchdown performances against Monmouth in the season opener and at Ohio last week. Ricci has topped the 50-yard receiving plateau six times in 11 games this fall.

Read the 411 on Bronco, Ricci

About the John Mackey Award

NFL Hall of Fame member John Mackey is considered to be one of the best that has ever played the tight end position. A tight end by whom all others are measured, Mackey was a role model on and off the field as demonstrated by his Super Bowl Championship, his commitment to the community and his place in history as the first President of the NFLPA.

The John Mackey Award was first presented in 2000 and since has recognized seventeen NFL alumni. Some of the previous recipients include two-time Super Bowl Champion Daniel Graham (‘01), 2006 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Clark (‘02), Kellen Winslow II (‘03), two-time Super Bowl Champion Heath Miller (‘04), Marcedes Lewis (‘05) of the Green Bay Packers, 2008 Super Bowl Champion Matt Spaeth (‘06), Fred Davis (‘07), Chase Coffman (‘08), D.J. Williams (‘10), Dwayne Allen (’11), Tyler Eifert (’12) of the Cincinnati Bengals, Austin Seferian-Jenkins (’13), Nick O’Leary (’14), Hunter Henry (’15) of the Los Angeles Chargers, Jake Butt (‘16) of the Denver Broncos, Mark Andrews (’17) of the Baltimore Ravens and 2018 John Mackey Award recipient T.J. Hockenson of the Detroit Lions.

The John Mackey Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating back to 1935. If you would like to learn more about the NCFAA visit

Columnist Cassia Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland

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