Mountain West Football: Four DBs Named To Jim Thorpe Award Watch List
Boise State and San Diego State land two players apiece on the watch list for college football’s best defensive back.
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College football’s watch list season continued today with the reveal of athletes in the running for the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, which is given annually to the nation’s best defensive back. Four Mountain West players from two programs were named among 49 overall.
The first pair hails from San Diego State, where cornerback Darren Hall and safety Tariq Thompson return as two parts of a defense that ranked sixth nationally last fall by opponents’ passer rating. Hall tied with former Aztec teammate Luq Barcoo with a Mountain West-best 16 passes defended in 2019, hauled in one interception, and had 3.5 tackles for loss to go along with 49 total tackles. Thompson, meanwhile, earned second-team all-Mountain West honors for the third straight year by breaking up eight passes and grabbing four interceptions to go along with three tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.
Boise State is the other team to land a dynamic duo on the watch list thanks to cornerback Jalen Walker and nickelback Kekaula Kaniho. Walker led the Broncos with nine passes defended and also contributed three tackles for loss, all of which helped him to be named alongside Thompson as a second-team all-conference pick. Kaniho tied for first among conference defensive backs with 11 tackles for loss and had three sacks, as well, along with six pass breakups. Among the four players on the Thorpe list, Kaniho was the only one to be named to the Mountain West media’s all-conference first team.
Last year’s Jim Thorpe Award winner was Louisiana State’s Grant Delpit.