- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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The SEC leads the nation with five players on the preseason watch list for the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented annually to the nation's best defensive back.
LSU, which owns the past two Thorpe Award winners -- Patrick Peterson (2010) and Morris Claiborne (2011) -- leads the SEC with two players on the watch list.
Here are all five SEC players on the Thorpe list:
Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Matt Elam, S, Florida
Robert Lester, S, Alabama
Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
Eric Reid, S, LSU
For a complete look at the Thorpe watch list, go here.