When the University of Washington recruited Trent McDuffie, Husky coaches rated him as the top cornerback prospect in the nation.
It took the 5-foot-11, 195-pound defender from St. John Bosco High School and Westminster, California, just three games to become a permanent UW starter in the secondary as a true freshman.
As a third-year sophomore for the Huskies, he's regularly turning up in mock drafts as a first-rounder and on various All-America teams.
And now, McDuffie has been selected as one of 40 players on the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award — which annually is presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame to the college game's most outstanding defensive back.
The only thing left for him to do is win it.
Considering the history of the award, that would be quite a feat for McDuffie.
Just two Pac-12 players, USC's Adoree' Jackson in 2016 and Mark Carrier in 1989, have received the Thorpe honor among the 35 previous recipients.
McDuffie is one of only four players from his conference, now in the running for this prestigious college football reward, joined by Oregon cornerback Mykael Wright, Arizona State corner chase Lucas and USC corner Chris Steele.
McDuffie, a second-team All-Pac-12 pick last season, previously was named to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which goes to the nation's top defensive player.
The field for the Thorpe Award will be narrowed to 10 to 15 semifinalists in October, three finalists by Thanksgiving and a December winner announced on the College Football Awards Show.
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