Mountain West Football: Two Named To Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Watch List
The preseason list of college football’s best defensive backs include a pair from the Mountain West.
Week two of college football’s watch list season began this morning with the unveiling of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award watch list. Given annually to the nation’s best defensive back, there are two players from the Mountain West who could do the legendary Olympic athlete proud.
Boise State safety JL Skinner headlines the group after picking up 92 tackles, the most of any Broncos defender in 2021, to go along with eight tackles for loss, four passes defended, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions. He was also named by our staff as the conference’s preseason defensive player of the year earlier in July.
Joining him is Fresno State safety Evan Williams who, coincidentally, also racked up 92 tackles for the Bulldogs last season. On top of that, Williams also finished the year with 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, six passes defended, and three interceptions, posting a 79.6 overall grade according to Pro Football Focus that was second among all Mountain West safeties.
Last year’s Paycom Jim Thorpe Award winner was Cincinnati’s Coby Bryant.