Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association Proudly Reveal the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award 2022 Preseason Watchlist

OKLAHOMA CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (OSHOF) and Jim Thorpe Association released today the prestigious Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watchlist. This list includes 35 of the nation’s best defensive backs, representing 10 conferences and one independent university. The preseason watchlist is selected by a screening committee whose members compile a list of up to 50 players. This list is not final, and players who have outstanding seasons may be added to the Semifinalists and Finalists lists as the season progresses.


Jordan Anderson, Bowling Green, Sr.

Jordan Battle, Alabama, Sr.

Cole Bishop, Utah, So.

Kyu Blu Kelly, Stanford, Sr.

Julius Brents, Kansas State, Sr.

Davonte Brown, UCF, Jr.

CJ Brown, Northern Illinois, So.

Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State, Sr.

Denzel Burke, Ohio State, So.

Jalen Catalon, Arkansas, Jr.

Kei’Trel Clark, Louisville, Jr.

Xavier Henderson, Michigan State, Sr.

Ronnie Hickman, Ohio State, Jr.

Brandon Hill, Pittsburgh, Jr.

Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU, Jr.

Dorian Jackson, Western Michigan, Sr.

Quindell Johnson, Memphis, Sr.

Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M, Jr.

Steven Jones, Jr., Appalachian State, Sr.

Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame, Jr.

Antavious Lane, Georgia State, Jr.

Kenny Logan, Jr., Kansas, Jr.

Darrell Luter, Jr., South Alabama, Jr.

Riley Moss, Iowa, Sr.

Andrew Mukuba, Clemson, So.

Gervarrius Owens, Houston, Sr.

Clark Phillips III, Utah, So.

Joey Porter, Jr., Penn State, Jr.

Kelee Ringo, Georgia, So.

Jammie Robinson, Florida State, Jr.

JL Skinner, Boise State, Sr.

Cam Smith, South Carolina, Jr.

Christopher Smith, Georgia, Sr.

Evan Williams, Fresno State, Sr.

Rashad Wisdom, UTSA, Sr.

By Conference

AAC (3), ACC (4), BIG TEN (6), BIG 12 (3), C-USA (1), IND (1), MAC (3), MW (2), PAC-12 (3), SEC (6), SUN BELT (3)

A preseason watchlist is compiled by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame based on previous performance and preseason All-America lists. A screening committee consisting of OSHOF members monitors all defensive backs throughout the season, including watchlist players, and narrows the field to up to 15 semifinalists in October. This committee reconvenes on the Monday before Thanksgiving to select three award finalists. The three finalists are submitted to a national panel of over 250 sports writers, sportscasters, former players and coaches who vote to determine the winner of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.

The winner will be announced on ESPN’s live presentation of The Home Depot College Football Awards. Other recognized National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) awards announced include the Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award, Mackey Award, Rimington Trophy, Lou Groza Award, Ray Guy Award, Bronko Nagurski Award, Outland Trophy, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award, Biletnikoff Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Doak Walker Award, Walter Camp Award and others.

The official presentation of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award takes place in Oklahoma City, following The Home Depot College Football Awards. The current winner and all former winners are invited each year to celebrate. Over 600 supporters attend the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet each year, including many celebrities and dignitaries.

For more information on the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award and past award recipients, please visit the link below.


The members of the NCFAA are unveiling preseason watchlists over a two-week period. Sixteen of the association’s 25 awards are presenting their preseason watchlist during this time, as the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the complete 2022 preseason watchlist calendar:

Mon., July 18: Maxwell Award

Tue., July 19: Davey O’Brien Award

Wed., July 20: Doak Walker Award

Thu., July 21: Biletnikoff Award

Fri., July 22: Mackey Award, Rimington Trophy

Mon., July 25: Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, Butkus Award

Tue., July 26: Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Wed., July 27: Lou Groza Award, Ray Guy Award

Thu., July 28: Paul Hornung Award, Wuerffel Trophy

Fri., July 29: Walter Camp Award

Mon., August 1: Bednarik Award


July 25, 2022

Preseason Watchlist Released

October 24, 2022

Semifinalists Announced

ESPN Official Release TBD

Finalists Announced

ESPN Official Release TBD

Winner Announced

on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show

February 7, 2023

Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet Honoring the 2022 Winner

in Oklahoma City



Coby Bryant was a three-star prospect while at Glenville High School in Cleveland. He was named 2016 Associated Press All-Northeast Lakes District Division II honorable mention and a Senate League All-Star. Bryant helped lead Glenville to a 7-0 record in Senate League play and attended the University of Cincinnati (UC) following high school.

Bryant played in 12 games on special teams and in the defensive backfield as a true freshman. As a sophomore, Bryant played in 13 games, making 12 starts at cornerback. He finished his second year at UC with 33 tackles (30 solo) and set a team-high with 11 passes defended and a forced fumble. Coby established himself as a top defensive back in 2019. He finished fifth on the team with 54 tackles. He had eight pass breakups and an interception while being named to the 2019 AAC All-Academic Team. A 2020 First-Team All-AAC honoree, Bryant tied for the league lead with 11 passes defended, a team-best four interceptions and seven pass breakups. He finished with 35 tackles and a forced fumble. Bryant also earned his undergraduate degree in 2020.

The first Cincinnati defensive back to receive the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, Coby elected to use his additional year of eligibility and returned to Cincinnati in 2021 as a graduate student. Bryant recorded three interceptions, three forced fumbles, 11 pass breakups, 14 passes defended and 41 tackles in 2021. The Bearcats ranked No. 1 in the American Athletic Conference for interceptions, passes defended, passing yards allowed per game, passer rating against and completion percentage against. His 45 career passes defended is the second most in Cincinnati history, and he was named first team All-AAC for the second straight season.

Coby Bryant was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, with the 109th overall pick.

The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award 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 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. The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is universally accepted as one of the nation’s top collegiate sports honors.

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 jointly announced in May 2017 an exclusive sponsorship of the Jim Thorpe Award. As a result, the accolade has been named the “Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.”

The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935.

Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.


Olivia James

Marketing Communications and Event Director

Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame



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