Three Mountain West Defensive Backs Named to Mackey Award Watchlist
Andrew Wingard, Kekoa Nawahine and Tyler Horton are among the 35 best defensive backs in the country.
There might be a serious Mountain West challenge for this award.
Watchlist season continues this morning with the release of the Jim Thorpe Award watchlist. Given annually to the nation’s best defensive back, there are three names from the Mountain West on this year’s preseason list.
This year’s list is headlined by Wyoming safety Andrew Wingard, who makes his third straight appearance here. In his junior year, he finished second among FBS defensive backs with 114 tackles and contributed eight tackles for loss and five interceptions for the stingy Cowboys defense.
The Boise State Broncos landed a pair of defensive backs on this year’s Thorpe list, one of six teams to do so. Senior cornerback Tyler Horton continued to excel and earned first-team all-MW honors last year by collecting 44 tackles, breaking up 11 passes and making three tackles for loss, forcing two fumbles and grabbing two interceptions.
Meanwhile, junior safety Kekoa Nawahine broke out in a big way last fall with 108 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions. He was a second-team all-conference selection in 2017.
Former Utah State cornerback Jalen Davis earned a semifinalist nod last fall, though the eventual Jim Thorpe Award winner was former Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.