Johnnie Simon Named to Jim Thorpe Award Watch List
Oklahoma City - The Jim Thorpe Association announced today the 2012 Preseason Watch List for the Jim Thorpe Award given to the best defensive back in college football. The list includes 35 of the top defensive backs in the country representing 11 conferences and WMU's junior rover Johnnie Simon is one of those to be named to the list.
Simon earned Second Team All-Mid-American Conference after amassing a team best 114 total tackles, becoming the first Bronco to eclipse the 100 tackle mark since Austin Pritchard's 102 stops in 2009. The West Palm Beach, Fla., native racked up the team's third most tackles for loss (10.5) and sacks (3.5) a season ago. He also had a pair of interceptions and seven pass break ups during his sophomore campaign.
Simon is one of four MAC players to earn a spot on the list and the second Bronco to be named to a preseason watch list thus far. Kevin Galeher was named to the 2012 Rimington Trophy Watch List earlier this week.
The Thorpe Award is named after history’s greatest athlete, Jim Thorpe, and is presented by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City. Thorpe excelled at every sport in which he competed, including football at which he played on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The 2012 Olympics mark the 100-year anniversary of Thorpe winning gold in the decathlon and pentathlon at the Stockholm Olympics.
The Jim Thorpe Award watch list is chosen by a screening committee who compiles a list of 30-40 players each year. The list is not final and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses. The Thorpe Award winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on December 6, 2012 on ESPN.
The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official website, www.NCFAA.org.
The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Fifteen of the association’s 21 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates.2012 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List
Johnny Adams, Michigan State CB, Sr.
Jahleel Addae, Central Michigan S, Jr.
Ricardo Allen, Purdue CB, Jr.
David Amerson, North Carolina State CB, Jr.
Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State CB, Sr.
C.J. Barnett, Ohio State S, Jr.
John Boyett, Oregon S, Sr.
Brodrick Brown, Oklahoma State CB, Sr.
Travis Carrie, Ohio University CB, Sr.
Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International S, Sr.
Matt Elam, Florida S, Jr.
D.J. Hayden, Houston CB, Sr.
Jarred Holley, Pittsburgh S, Sr.
Kemal Ishmael, Central Florida CB, Jr.
Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma S, Jr.
Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State S, Jr.
Robert Lester, Alabama S, Sr.
Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State S, Jr.
Nigel Malone, Kansas State CB , Sr.
Tyrann Mathieu, Louisiana State S, Jr.
Dexter McCoil, Tulsa S, Sr.
T.J. McDonald, Southern California S, Jr.
Leon McFadden, San Diego State CB, Sr.
Dayonne Nunley, Miami (OH) CB, Jr.
Jordan Poyer, Oregon State CB, Sr.
Eric Reid, Louisiana State S, Jr.
Xavier Rhodes, Florida State CB, Jr.
Nikell Robey, Southern California CB, Jr.
Logan Ryan, Rutgers CB, Jr.
Johnnie Simon, Western Michigan S, Jr.
Hakeem Smith, Louisville S, Jr.
Brynden Trawick, Troy S, Sr.
Kenny Vaccaro, Texas S, Sr.
Deron Wilson, Southern Mississippi CB, Jr.
By Conference: ACC (3); BIG 12 (4); BIG EAST (3); BIG 10 (4); CUSA (4); MAC (4); MWC (1); PAC (4); SEC (5); SBC (2); and WAC (1).
The Jim Thorpe Award is presented to the best defensive back in college football by the Jim Thorpe Association.