Oklahoma State cornerback Brodrick Brown, TU safety Dexter McCoil, and OU safety Tony Jefferson are three of 34 players on the preseason watch list for the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award presented to the nation's top defensive back, it was announced today.
Brown ranked second in the Big 12 and 14th nationally with five interceptions last year. His 1.54 passes defended per game ranked him third in the nation. He was one of the most prominent players on a Cowboy defense that led the Big 12 in scoring defense in conference games, led the nation in turnovers forced, led the Big 12 and ranked 12th nationally in red zone defense and was second in the Big 12 and 20th nationally in pass efficiency defense.
McCoil had 84 tackles, seven pass break-ups and six interceptions for 131 yards in 13 starts last year for the 8-5 Golden Hurricane. He earned second-team all-C-USA honors and was named the Tulsa MVP of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. In that game against BYU, McCoil totaled 10 tackles, two interceptions for 37 yards and one pass break-up.
Jefferson, who has also been named to the Bednarik Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch lists, led the 2011 OU team with four interceptions and was third on the squad with 74 tackles. The junior, who has played in a hybrid defensive back role the last two seasons, tied an OU single game record last season with three interceptions against Ball State. Jefferson had nine games with at least five tackles on the year.
The Thorpe Award winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on December 6, 2012 on ESPN.
2012 Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List
Johnny Adams, Michigan State CB, Sr.
Jahleel Addae, Central Michigan S, Jr.
Ricardo Allen, Purdue CB, Jr.
David Amerson, North Carolina State CB, Jr.
Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State CB, Sr.
C.J. Barnett, Ohio State S, Jr.
John Boyett, Oregon S, Sr.
Brodrick Brown, Oklahoma State CB, Sr.
Travis Carrie, Ohio University CB, Sr.
Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International S, Sr.
Matt Elam, Florida S, Jr.
D.J. Hayden, Houston CB, Sr.
Jarred Holley, Pittsburgh S, Sr.
Kemal Ishmael, Central Florida CB, Jr.
Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma S, Jr.
Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State S, Jr.
Robert Lester, Alabama S, Sr.
Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State S, Jr.
Nigel Malone, Kansas State CB , Sr.
Tyrann Mathieu, Louisiana State S, Jr.
Dexter McCoil, Tulsa S, Sr.
T.J. McDonald, Southern California S, Jr.
Leon McFadden, San Diego State CB, Sr.
Dayonne Nunley, Miami (OH) CB, Jr.
Jordan Poyer, Oregon State CB, Sr.
Eric Reid, Louisiana State S, Jr.
Xavier Rhodes, Florida State CB, Jr.
Nikell Robey, Southern California CB, Jr.
Logan Ryan, Rutgers CB, Jr.
Johnnie Simon, Western Michigan S, Sr.
Hakeem Smith, Louisville S, Jr.
Brynden Trawick, Troy S, Sr.
Kenny Vaccaro, Texas S, Sr.
Deron Wilson, Southern Mississippi CB, Jr.