The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association Are Proud to Reveal the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award 2021 Preseason Watch List

The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (OSHOF) and Jim Thorpe Association release today the prestigious Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List. This list includes 40 of the nation's best defensive backs, representing 10 conferences and one independent. The preseason watch list is selected by a screening committee whose members compile a list of up to 50 players. This list is not final, and players who have outstanding seasons may be added as the season progresses.


Tycen Anderson, Toledo, Sr.

Sevyn Banks, Ohio State, Sr.

Jordan Battle, Alabama, Jr.

Bubba Bolden, Miami (FL), Jr.

Andrew Booth, Jr., Clemson, Jr.

Jaquan Brisker, Penn State, Sr.

Coby Bryant, Cincinnati, Sr.

Derrick Canteen, Georgia Southern, So.

Jalen Catalon, Arkansas, So.

Kei'Trel Clark, Louisville, So.

Bryce Cosby, Ball State, Sr.

Cortez Davis, Hawaii, Sr.

Greg Eisworth II, Iowa State, Sr.

Kaiir Elam, Florida, Jr.

Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati, Jr.

Steven Gilmore, Marshall, Jr.

Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame, Jr.

Kolby Harvell-Peel, Oklahoma State, Sr.

Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, Texas Christian University, Jr.

Josh Jobe, Alabama, Sr.

Quindell Johnson, Memphis, So.

Shaun Jolly, Appalachian State, Sr.

Marcus Jones, Houston, Jr.

Brandon Joseph, Northwestern, So.

Kekaula Kaniho, Boise State, Sr.

Chase Lucas, Arizona State, Sr.

Trent McDuffie, Washington, Jr.

Smoke Monday, Auburn, Sr.

Tiawan Mullen, Indiana, So.

Jerrick Reed II, New Mexico, Sr.

Eli Ricks, Louisiana State University, So.

Berdale Robins, Nevada, Sr.

Chris Steele, University of Southern California, Jr.

Derek Stingley, Jr., Louisiana State University, Jr.

D'Jordan Strong, Coastal Carolina, Sr.

Nolan Turner, Clemson, Sr.

BeeJay Williamson, Louisiana Tech, So.

Rashad Wisdom, University of Texas at San Antonio, Jr.

Samuel Womack, Toledo, Sr.

Mykael Wright, Oregon, So.

By Conference

AAC (4), ACC (4), BIG 10 (4), BIG 12 (3), C-USA (3), IND (1), MAC (3), MW (4), PAC-12 (4), SEC (7), SUN BELT (3)

A preseason watch list is compiled by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame based on previous performance and preseason All-America lists. A screening committee consisting of OSHOF members monitor the watch list players and narrow the field to 10 to 15 semifinalists in October. This committee reconvenes on the Monday before Thanksgiving to select three award finalists. The three finalists are submitted to a national panel of over 250 sports writers, sportscasters, former players and coaches who vote to determine the winner of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.

All three finalists are invited and required to attend The Home Depot College Football Awards Show Presented by Gildan, where the winner is announced. Other recognized National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) awards announced include the Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award, Mackey Award, Rimington Trophy, Lou Groza Award, Ray Guy Award, Bronko Nagurski Award, Outland Trophy, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award, Biletnikoff Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Doak Walker Award and Walter Camp Award.

The official presentation of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award takes place in Oklahoma City, following ESPN's live presentation at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show. The current winner and all former winners are invited each year to celebrate. Over 600 supporters attend the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet each year, including many celebrities and dignitaries.

For more information on the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award and past award recipients, please visit the link below.

The members of the NCFAA are unveiling preseason watch lists over a 10-day period this month. Fourteen of the association's 25 awards will present their preseason watch list during this time as the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award's preseason candidates. Following is the complete 2021 preseason watch list calendar:

Mon., July 19: Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award

Tue., July 20: Davey O'Brien Award

Wed., July 21: Doak Walker Award

Thu., July 22: Biletnikoff Award

Fri., July 23: John Mackey Award, Rimington Trophy

Mon., July 26: Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, Butkus Award

Tue., July 27: Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy,

Wed., July 28: Lou Groza Award, Ray Guy Award

Thu., July 29: Paul Hornung Award, Wuerffel Trophy

Fri., July 30: Walter Camp Award


July 26, 2021

Preseason Watch List Released

October 25, 2021

Semifinalists Announced

ESPN Official Release TBD

Finalists Announced

ESPN Official Release TBD

Winner Announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show Presented by Gildan

February 8, 2022

35th Anniversary Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet Honoring the 2021 Winner in Oklahoma City



Tre’von Moehrig began the 2020 season as the nation’s top safety and finished it as the nation’s top defensive back, winning the 2020 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award. The two-time All-Big 12 performer was named to seven All-America teams. Moehrig served as team captain in every game and finished third on the team with 47 tackles. He ranked among the national leaders at 1.1 passes defended per game, finishing 2020 with two interceptions and nine pass breakups. He was responsible for nine takeaways over his last two seasons at TCU, which tied for second in the FBS over that time. Moehrig was drafted by the Las Vegas Raiders as the 43rd overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is awarded to the best defensive back in college football based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The award was established in 1986 and is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon. The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is universally accepted as one of the nation's top collegiate sports honors.

Paycom Software, Inc. (“Paycom”) (NYSE:PAYC), a leading provider of comprehensive, cloud-based human capital management software, and the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame jointly announced in May 2017 an exclusive sponsorship of the Jim Thorpe Award. As a result, the accolade has been named the “Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.”

The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about this association.


Olivia James

Marketing Communications & Event Director

Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame

Home of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award

Office (405) 427-1400

Direct (405) 402-1836

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