Ohio State senior cornerback Sevyn Banks was one of 40 players named on Monday to the preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented annually to college football’s best defensive back.
A former four-star prospect from Orlando, Banks has recorded 35 tackles, 13 pass break ups, two interceptions and two defensive touchdowns, including one blocked punt return and another fumble return for a score, in 28 games for the Buckeyes. He’s projected to be the No. 1 cornerback on the roster this fall, as well as a potential first-round draft pick.
The award is named after Jim Thorpe, who is considered one of history’s greatest all-around athletes. He played running back, defensive back, kicker and punter and was a two-time All-American at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and later became a professional baseball player and Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon and pentathlon.
Banks is looking to become just the third Ohio State player to win the Jim Thorpe Award, which was established in 1986, joining safety Antoine Winfield in 1998 and cornerback Malcolm Jenkins in 2008. Cornerback Jeff Okudah was a finalist for the award in 2019, meanwhile.
Other Big Ten players to make the preseason watch list include Indiana cornerback Taiwan Mullen, Northwestern safety Brandon Joseph and Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker.
The winner of this year’s Jim Thorpe Award will be announced at the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 9.
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