Quarless is one of only four sophomores to make the 31-player Watch List for the honor, which was first presented in 2000 and is named for John Mackey, who played in the National Football League for 10 years, earning five Pro Bowl selections with the Baltimore Colts. The Nassau County Sports Commission is the Mackey Award sponsor, as it honors the NFL Hall of Famer who was a product of Nassau County.
Also a Long Island product, from Uniondale, N.Y., Quarless made great strides as a true freshman in 2006, playing in every game with nine starts. He was fifth on the squad with 21 receptions for 288 yards (13.7) and two touchdowns, earning first team Freshman All-Big Ten honors from The Sporting News. The former Uniondale High School all-stater contributed 16 of his 21 catches over the last six games, including TD catches in the last two contests, vs. Michigan State and Tennessee in the Outback Bowl. Quarless made a season-long 29-yard catch in three games last season and owned the highest average among players with 10 or more receptions.