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 Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35