The Jim Thorpe Award released its preseason watch-list of 42 players this morning in a continuation of the Watch List season. The Thorpe Award has been given annually since 1986 to the nation's best defensive back. Auburn boasts one previous winner of the award: Carlos Rogers in 2004.
Jones' inclusion on the watch-list should surprise no one. The senior corner back tied for the team lead in interceptions last season with six and also was in the top five for tackles. He's an excellent defensive back who will be expected to hold down the senior leadership role for the DBs this season. He is also on the watch list for the Nagurski Award given to the nation's top overall defensive player.
Jones' health is still the key question after foot surgery during the spring. If he's 100%, then he stands to have a special season.
It sounds strange after the struggles over the last few seasons, but I could see Rudy Ford, or even Tray Matthews, making noise for this award by the end of the season, as well. I really do like the starting group for the Tigers in the defensive backfield. The question will be how the depth holds up.
Remaining Awards Watch Lists:
Tues., July 14: Butkus Award / Rotary Lombardi Award
Wed., July 15: Biletnikoff Award / Wuerffel Trophy
Thurs, July 16: Davey O’Brien Award / Doak Walker Award
Fri., July 17: Walter Camp Award