Mountain West Football: Four Named To 2019 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List
The roll call of the nation’s best defensive backs includes four athletes from the Mountain West.
A short list with strong candidates.
Watch list season continued today with the release of the Jim Thorpe Award’s list of players to follow. Given annually to the nation’s best defensive back, there are four athletes from the Mountain West, out of 46 in all, and any of them could play their way to earning that hardware.
The Fresno State Bulldogs landed a pair onto the Thorpe list in safety Juju Hughes and cornerback Jaron Bryant. Hughes finished 2018 with 78 total tackles, eight passes defended, and four interceptions, while Bryant had 12 passes defended and an interception last fall.
San Diego State WAR Tariq Thompson had exactly the kind of season you’ve come to expect from an Aztec defensive back as a sophomore, collecting 4.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, eight passes defended, and two interceptions. Now a junior with two seasons of starting experience under his belt, expect him to be one of the best all-around defenders in the conference.
Utah State’s D.J. Williams had perhaps an underrated junior campaign with 11 passes defended, four interceptions, three tackles for loss and 42 tackles overall. He earned an honorable mention after the season and could very well land on the two-deep all-conference list when 2019 is in the books.
Last year’s Jim Thorpe Award winner was former Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker.