Who: Jonathan Jones
Watch Lists: Nagurski Trophy, Jim Thorpe Award, Lott Impact Trophy
Jonathan Jones is making some pre-season noise. As one of the Auburn representatives for SEC Media Days, he has earned the respect of his coaches. Additionally, he's been named to a few high profile watch lists.
The Nagurski Trophy is given by the Charlotte Touchdown Club for the "best defensive player in college football." To date, no Auburn player has won the award, but three Tigers make the list this year, including Jones and teammates Cassanova McKinzy and Carl Lawson.
The Jim Thorpe Award has been given annually since 1986 to the nation's best defensive back. Jones is one of 42 players on the list. Auburn boasts one previous winner of the award, Carlos Rogers in 2004.
Jones also landed on a slightly lesser known list, the Lott IMPACT Trophy, honoring "college football's defensive best in character and performance." The acronym for IMPACT is Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. The nominees are considered for their academic standing at their university, their community contributions, their leadership skills and their overall character.
In 2014, Jones started at cornerback and ranked ninth nationally with six interceptions, the fifth-most in a season at Auburn. He was named to the second team All-SEC and was honored with the Zeke Smith Award as defensive player of the year. He totaled 36 tackles and a team-high 11 pass breakups.
Heading into the season
Coaches will be looking to Jones to lead the defense in his senior year. He had foot surgery this spring, so hopefully Jones can stay healthy, as the defense is thin.