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Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association Proudly Reveal the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award 2023 Preseason Watch List

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OKLAHOMA CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (OSHOF) and Jim Thorpe Association released the prestigious Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List. This list includes 35 of the nation’s best defensive backs, representing 10 conferences and one independent university. The preseason watch list is selected by a screening committee whose members compile a list of up to 50 players based on previous performance in NCAA Division I college football and preseason All-America lists. This list is not final, and players who have outstanding seasons may be added to the semifinalists and finalists lists as the season progresses.

2023 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List

Micah Abraham, Marshall, Senior

Yam Banks, South Alabama, Junior

Cole Bishop, Utah, Junior

Cobee Bryant, Kansas, Junior

Calen Bullock, USC, Junior

Denzel Burke, Ohio State, Junior

Fentrell Cypress II, Florida State, Junior

Cooper DeJean, Iowa, Junior

Tra Fluellen, Middle Tennessee, Senior

Marcus Fuqua, Buffalo, Senior

Jack Howell, Colorado State, Junior

Will Johnson, Michigan, Sophomore

Kamren Kinchens, Miami (FL), Junior

Kalen King, Penn State, Junior

Ike Larsen, Utah State, Sophomore

Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama, Junior

Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo, Junior

Jarius Monroe, Tulane, Senior

Benjamin Morrison, Notre Dame, Sophomore

Andrew Mukuba, Clemson, Junior

Josh Newton, TCU, Senior

Tyler Nubin, Minnesota, Senior

Lathan Ransom, Ohio State, Senior

Demani Richardson, Texas A&M, Senior

Willie Roberts, Louisiana Tech, Senior

Teldrick Ross, Middle Tennessee, Senior

Kobe Savage, Kansas State, Senior

Jay Stanley, Southern Miss, Senior

Malaki Starks, Georgia, Sophomore

Reddy Steward, Troy, Senior

Cameron Stone, Hawaii, Senior

Upton Stout, Western Kentucky, Sophomore

TJ Tampa, Iowa State, Senior

Trey Taylor, Air Force, Senior

Aydan White, NC State, Junior

By Conference

AAC (1), ACC (4), Big Ten (6), Big 12 (4), C-USA (4), Independent (1), MAC (2), MW (4), PAC-12 (2), SEC (3), Sun Belt (4)

The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes college football’s most prestigious awards and its 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients dating back to 1935. This season, 12 NCFAA awards will honor national players of the week each Tuesday.

Sixteen NCFAA members are unveiling preseason watch lists over a two-week period as the association spearheads a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the remaining 2023 preseason watch list calendar:

Mon., July 31: Maxwell Award

Tue., Aug. 1: Outland Trophy/Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Wed., Aug. 2: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award

Thu., Aug. 3: Paul Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy

Fri., Aug. 4: Mackey Award/Rimington Trophy

Mon., Aug. 7: Biletnikoff Award

Tue., Aug. 8: Davey O’Brien Award

Wed., Aug. 9: Doak Walker Award

Thu., Aug. 10: Butkus Award/Paycom Jim Thorpe Award

Fri., Aug. 11: Walter Camp Award

Mon., Aug. 14: Bednarik Award

For more information about the NCFAA and its award programs, visit the redesigned or follow on Twitter at @NCFAA.

Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Important Dates

Thu., Aug. 10: Preseason Watch List Announced

Tue., Oct. 31: Semifinalists Announced

A screening committee consisting of OSHOF members monitors all defensive backs throughout the season, including watch list players, and narrows the field to up to 15 semifinalists.

Tue., Nov. 28: Finalists Announced

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.

Date TBD: Winner Announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards

The winner will be announced on ESPN’s live presentation of The Home Depot College Football Awards. Other recognized 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.

Tue., Feb. 6, 2024: Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet Honoring the 2023 Winner in Oklahoma City

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



Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson was a three-star recruit out of Mid-Way High School in Waco, Texas. He totaled 155 tackles, six pass breakups and five interceptions during his standout prep career. He was also selected first-team All-District 12-6A. Following high School, Tre’Vius attended Texas Christian University (TCU). He played in all 12 games as a freshman and finished his first year at TCU with eight tackles, including seven solo.

Tre’Vius became one of the top cornerbacks in the country over the course of his sophomore season. He was named to multiple All-America teams. Pro Football Focus rated him the nation’s highest graded cornerback in coverage at 90.6. He led the Big 12 with 13 pass breakups and finished the COVID-19 shortened season with 26 total tackles. As a junior, Tre’Vius earned first team All-Big 12 honors for a second straight season. He led TCU with seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He finished with two interceptions, one returned 29 yards for a touchdown against Texas Tech and capped off his junior season with 41 total tackles.

Tre’Vius entered his senior season with high expectations and ended it by winning the 2022 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. He was named first-team All-Big 12 for the third straight year and first team A.P. All-American. Tre’Vius finished 2022 with 42 total tackles, 35 solo. He also forced one fumble, had three interceptions, and had 11 pass breakups despite teams consistently throwing away from him.

Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, with the 182nd 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.”


Olivia James

Marketing Communications and Event Director

Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame