Watch list season continues to roll along, with defensive backs getting their turn in the spotlight.
Monday, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame released the annual preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award. Given annually to the nation’s top defensive back, this year’s watch list includes 39 players from all 10 FBS conferences. No players from football independents were included.
Included in the group is Iowa’s Desmond King, the 2015 winner of the Thorpe Award.
The Pac-12 paces all conferences with six selections, followed by five each from the MAC and SEC. The AAC, ACC, Big Ten and Mountain West all have four apiece, while the Sun Belt has three. Along with Conference USA, the Big 12 brings up the rear with two.
Air Force (two), LSU (two) and Washington (two) are the only teams with more than one player on the list.
Most of the watch listers are juniors (13) or seniors (23), with the lone exceptions being a trio of sophomores — Florida State’s Derwin James, Pittsburgh’s Jordan Whitehead and Wyoming’s Andrew Wingard.
Below is the complete 2016 Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list:
Jamal Adams, LSU, Jr.
Tony Annese, Central Michigan, Sr.
Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado, Sr.
Budda Baker, Washington, Jr.
Bobby Baker, Georgia State, Sr.
Quin Blanding, Virginia, Jr.
Cody Brown, Arkansas State, Sr.
Sean Chandler, Temple, Jr.
Jeremy Cutrer, Middle Tennessee, Sr.
Zach Edwards, Cincinnati, Sr.
Nate Gerry, Nebraska, Sr.
Adoree’ Jackson, USC, Jr.
Eddie Jackson, Alabama, Sr.
Derwin James, Florida St., So.
Sidney Jones, Washington, Jr.
Damontae Kazee, San Diego State, Sr.
Desmond King, Iowa, Sr.
Roland Ladipo, Air Force, Sr.
Jourdan Lewis, Michigan , Sr.
William Likely, Maryland, Sr.
Shawun Lurry, Northern Illinois, Jr.
Marcus Maye, Florida, Sr.
Demetrius Monday, Kent State, Jr.
Deatrick Nichols, USF, Jr.
Jeremy Reaves, South Alabama, Jr.
DeJuan Rogers, Toledo, Sr.
Boise Ross, Buffalo, Sr.
Weston Steelhammer, Air Force, Sr.
Jordan Sterns, Oklahoma State, Sr.
Jamar Summers, UConn, Jr.
Cameron Sutton, Tennessee, Sr.
Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson, Sr.
Ahmad Thomas, Oklahoma, Sr.
Jaleel Wadood, UCLA, Jr.
Tre’Davious White, LSU, Sr.
Jordan Whitehead, Pittsburgh, So.
Marcus Williams, Utah, Jr.
Andrew Wingard, Wyoming, So.
Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech, Sr.