Skip to main content

Verone McKinley III Named Finalist For Paycom Jim Thorpe Award

The veteran defensive back has been the face of the Oregon secondary for much of 2021.

Oregon safety Verone McKinley III has been named a finalist for the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive back. 

Other finalists for the award include Cincinnati cornerback Coby Bryant and Baylor safety Jalen Pitre. 

McKinley is in his fourth season with the Ducks and has developed into one of the conference's top defensive backs. He's started all 11 games this season for Oregon and currently leads the Pac-12 in interceptions with five, which is also tied for the national lead.

Four of his five interceptions came in September, when the Ducks defeated Fresno State, Ohio State, Stony Brook and Arizona.

He's No. 2 on the Oregon defense in tackles with 61 total tackles, which ranks third among Pac-12 defensive backs. 

McKinley exited Oregon's game against Utah last week with an injury and did not return, but he's expected to play in the Ducks' regular season finale at home against the Oregon State Beavers. 

The winner of the Jim Thorpe Award will be announced on Dec. 6 at the Home Depot College Football Awards.



California Extends Head Coach Justin Wilcox Through 2027

The former Oregon defensive back has earned a contract extension after a 5-7 season in 2021.

Demond Williams Jr.

2024 Quarterback Demond Williams Jr. Breaks Down Oregon Visit

The Ducks could emerge as early contenders for a top prospect out west

You may also like

Kayvon Thibodeaux named finalist for Chuck Bednarik Award

Join the Community

Follow Max on Twitter: @mtorressports

Subscribe to our free newsletter to get the latest Oregon Ducks news sent to your inbox

Check out our Forums HERE

Listen to the latest episode of the Ducks Dish Podcast HERE