Kei’Trel Clark Named to Jim Thorpe Award Watch List

The sophomore cornerback is the fourth Cardinal to be named to a 2021 preseason watch list.
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(Photo of Kei’Trel Clark via University of Louisville Athletics)

Press Release from the University of Louisville:

Oklahoma City – University of Louisville cornerback Kei’Trel Clark has been named to the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List on Monday.

This list includes 40 of the nation's best defensive backs, representing 10 conferences and one independent. The preseason watch list 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 as the season progresses.

A second team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree last season, Clark made eight starts in his first season after transferring from Liberty. The 5-10, 172-pound defensive back closed the year with 36 tackles and tied for 12th nationally and was second in the league with 11 passes defended.

A native of West Palm Beach, Fla., Clark recorded his first career interception in a 30-0 shutout win over Syracuse, Louisville's first blanking of a Power 5 opponent since 2004. The sophomore registered a season high nine tackles in a road loss at Boston College.

A preseason watch list 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 monitor the watch list players and narrow the field to 10 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 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show. 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 and Walter Camp Award.

The official presentation of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award takes place in Oklahoma City, following ESPN's live presentation at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show. 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.

2021 PAYCOM JIM THORPE AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST

Tycen Anderson, Toledo, Sr.
Sevyn Banks, Ohio State, Sr.
Jordan Battle, Alabama, Jr.
Bubba Bolden, Miami (FL), Jr.
Andrew Booth, Jr., Clemson, Jr.
Jaquan Brisker, Penn State, Sr.
Coby Bryant, Cincinnati, Sr.
Derrick Canteen, Georgia Southern, So.
Jalen Catalon, Arkansas, So.
Kei’Trel Clark, Louisville, So.
Bryce Cosby, Ball State, Sr.
Cortez Davis, Hawaii, Sr.
Greg Eisworth II, Iowa State, Sr.
Kaiir Elam, Florida, Jr.
Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati, Jr.
Steven Gilmore, Marshall, Jr.
Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame, Jr.
Kolby Harvell-Peel, Oklahoma State, Sr.
Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, Texas Christian University, Jr.
Josh Jobe, Alabama, Sr.
Quindell Johnson, Memphis, So.
Shaun Jolly, Appalachian State, Sr.
Marcus Jones, Houston, Jr.
Brandon Joseph, Northwestern, So.
Kekaula Kaniho, Boise State, Sr.
Chase Lucas, Arizona State, Sr.
Trent McDuffie, Washington, Jr.
Smoke Monday, Auburn, Sr.
Tiawan Mullen, Indiana, So.
Jerrick Reed II, New Mexico, Sr.
Eli Ricks, Louisiana State University, So.
Berdale Robins, Nevada, Sr.
Chris Steele, University of Southern California, Jr.
Derek Stingley, Jr., Louisiana State University, Jr.
D'Jordan Strong, Coastal Carolina, Sr.
Nolan Turner, Clemson, Sr.
BeeJay Williamson, Louisiana Tech, So.
Rashad Wisdom, University of Texas at San Antonio, Jr.
Samuel Womack, Toledo, Sr.
Mykael Wright, Oregon, So.

By Conference
AAC (4), ACC (4), BIG 10 (4), BIG 12 (3), C-USA (3), IND (1), MAC (3), MW (4), PAC-12 (4), SEC (7), SUN BELT (3)

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