The Thorpe Award, given annually to college football's top defensive back, has released its preseason watch list and four DBs from the Big 12 cracked the list.
Here they are:
Brodrick Brown, CB, Oklahoma State
Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
Nigel Malone, CB, Kansas State
Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
This is a pretty short list, made up of only 35 players, but no Carrington Byndom from Texas or Demontre Hurst from Oklahoma? I'd agree that Jefferson and Vaccaro are the best overall DBs on their respective teams, but I'd take Byndom ahead of Malone and Brown, and Hurst probably deserved a spot with the whole group, even if he's a minor snub.
Surprising to see that. A reminder: The Thorpe Award takes character into account, so stay out of trouble if you want the award. Last season's suspension for use of synthetic marijuana prevented Tyranne Mathieu from winning the award. Instead, it went to his teammate, CB Morris Claiborne. Another LSU player, Patrick Peterson, won the award in 2010.
Aaron Ross of Texas (2006) was the last Big 12 player to win this award. From 2001 to 2006, the Big 12 won five of six Thorpe Awards, including two for Oklahoma, two for Texas and one for Kansas State.
The league's been blanked since then. Could we see a resurgence in 2012?