Oklahoma City—The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award 2017 watch list was announced on July 14, 2017 and includes 45 of the nation’s best defensive backs, representing ten conferences.

The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is one of the most coveted awards in college football. It 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 not only 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.

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 (OSHOF)  jointly announced in May of 2017 an exclusive sponsorship of the Jim Thorpe Award. As a result, the accolade will be named the “Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.”

The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award watch list is chosen by a screening committee who compiles a list of 30-50 players.  The list is not final, and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses.  The Thorpe Award Winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 7, 2017, on ESPN. 

The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, in Oklahoma.

The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 23 awards now boast over over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit to learn more about our story.

The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a two-week period this month. Sixteen of the association's 23 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award's preseason candidates. Following is the complete 2017 preseason watch list calendar:

Mon, July 10: Bednarik Award / Maxwell Award
Tues, July 11: Mackey Award / Rimington Trophy
Wed, July 12: Lou Groza Award / Ray Guy Award
Thurs, July 13: Bronko Nagurski Trophy / Outland Trophy
Fri, July 14: Jim Thorpe Award
Mon, July 17: Butkus Award / Hornung Award
Tues, July 18: Biletnikoff Award / Wuerffel Trophy
Wed, July 19: Davey O’Brien Award
Thurs, July 20 :Doak Walker Award
Fri, July 21: Walter Camp Award   

2017 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List

Brandon Addison
Old Dominion- Sr.

Jaire Alexander
Louisville - Jr.

Marcus Allen
Penn State - Sr.

Dravon Askew-Henry
West Virginia - Jr.

Quin Blanding
Virginia - Sr.

Joe Brown
WKU - Sr.

Andre Chachere
San Jose State - Sr.

Sean Chandler
Temple - Sr.

Justin Clifton
Arkansas State - Jr.

Amari Coleman
Central Michigan - Sr.

Kamari Cotton-Moya
Iowa State  - Sr.

Duke Dawson
Florida - Sr.

Clifton Duck
Appalachian State - So.

Mike Edwards
Kentucky - Jr.

Rashard Fant
Indiana - Sr.

Minkah Fitzpatrick
Alabama - Jr.

Tre Flowers
Oklahoma State - Sr.

Chase Hansen
Utah - Jr.

Heath Harding
Miami - Sr.

Ronnie Harrison
Alabama - Jr.

Godwin Igwebuike
Northwestern - Sr.

Donte Jackson
LSU - Jr.

Derwin James
Florida State - So.

Chris Jones
Nebraska - Sr.

Shawun Lurry
NIU - Sr.

Iman Marshall
USC - Jr.

Kishawn McClain
North Texas - Sr.

Tarvarus McFadden
Florida State - Jr.

Quenton Meeks
Stanford - Jr.

Deatrick Nichols
USF - Sr.

Parry Nickerson
Tulane - Sr.

Nick Orr
TCU - Sr.

Taylor Rapp
Washington - So.

Jeremy Reaves
South Alabama - Sr.

D.J. Reed
Kansas State - Jr.

Justin Reid
Stanford - Jr.

Dominick Sanders
Georgia - Sr.

M.J. Stewart
North Carolina - Sr.

Greg Stroman
Virginia Tech - Sr.

Jaleel Wadood
UCLA - Sr.

Denzel Ward
Ohio State - Jr.

Armani Watts
Texas A&M - Sr.

Jordan Whitehead
Pitt - Jr.

Andrew Wingard
Wyoming – Jr.

Jalen Young
FAU – Jr.

By Conference: AAC (3), ACC (7), Big Ten (5), Big 12 (5), C-USA (4), MAC (3), MW (2), Pac-12 (6), SEC (7), Sun Belt (3)