Awards watch: Thorpe locked in on Bucks
July, 12, 2013
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The wait is almost over. The season is finally creeping up again, and the annual release of preseason watch lists for the biggest awards in college football confirms it -- and helps provide a useful distraction during the final month leading up to the start of training camp. BuckeyeNation will be tracking all the Ohio State players being tracked by the various committees and will be handicapping their odds of bringing trophies back to campus along the way.
JIM THORPE AWARD
Kirk Irwin/Getty ImagesOhio State cornerback Bradley Roby looks to contend for the Jim Thorpe Award this year.
- What: The nation's top defensive back
- On the list: Ohio State safeties Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett and cornerback Bradley Roby
- Credentials: The depth and talent in the secondary was already well known, but in case there was any doubt about how high the Buckeyes might sit in the national pecking order, the latest watch list helps confirm a spot at the top. The trio of Bryant, Barnett and Roby took three spots from the Thorpe committee -- and by comparison, the entire SEC had just four defensive backs selected for preseason attention. Each of the three Buckeyes have earned the attention, from Bryant's nose for the ball and hard hitting to Barnett's steady contributions in the back to Roby's uncanny ability to break up anything thrown his way. And with more skill in reserve, there's obviously a really good reason Ohio State is planning to play so much nickel and dime this fall, basing it's game plan around three nationally-recognized athletes.
- Head to head: Showcase opportunities against other defensive backs currently being watched by the committee -- Ricardo Allen (Purdue), Nat Berhe (San Diego State), Ibraheim Campbell (Northwestern), Najja Johnson (Buffalo).
- Odds: Roby will enter the season among the favorites, and while that's no knock on Bryant or Barnett, he's clearly the most likely candidate from the vaunted Ohio State secondary to claim an individual prize this fall. The key for Roby to make a significant push will be to turn a few more of those passes broken up into interceptions after finishing with just two picks a year ago. He might also have to make the most of his chances, because odds are teams won't be in any hurry to test him in what will assuredly be the final season of the redshirt junior's career with Ohio State.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
Final Illinois 18 Louisiana Tech 35 Final Rutgers 40 North Carolina 21 Final North Carolina State 34 UCF 27
Final Cincinnati 17 Virginia Tech 33 Final 15 Arizona State 36 Duke 31 Final Miami (FL) 21 South Carolina 24 Final/OT Boston College 30 Penn State 31 Final Nebraska 42 24 USC 45
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State