ACC well-represented on Thorpe watch list

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Eight players and five ACC schools were represented on the 2009 Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list, which is presented annually to the nation's top defensive back. Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Clemson each have two players on this list, and they're all deserving, considering it's going to be a position of strength for each of those programs. Here is the full list:

Javier Arenas, SR, Alabama

Duke Ihenacho, SR, San Jose State
Aaron Berry, SR, Pittsburgh

Reshad Jones, JR, Georgia
Eric Berry, JR, Tennessee

Jordan Lake, SR, Baylor
Ahmad Black, JR, Florida

Myron Lewis, SR. Vanderbilt
Morgan Burnett, JR, Georgia Tech

Trevard Lindley, SR, Kentucky
Kendric Burney, JR, North Carolina

Taylor Mays, SR, Univ. of Southern California
Crezdon Butler, SR, Clemson

Amari Spievey, JR, Iowa
Kam Chancellor, SR, Virginia Tech

Darrell Stuckey, SR, Kansas
Chris Chancellor, SR, Clemson

Earl Thomas, SO, Texas
Barry Church, SR, Toledo

Syd'Quan Thompson, SR, California
Kurt Coleman, SR, Ohio State

Walter Thurmond, SR, Oregon
Parrish Cox, SR, Oklahoma State University

Alterraun Verner, SR, UCLA
Ras-I Dowling, JR, Virginia

Stephen Virgil, SR, Virginia Tech
Van Eskridge, SR, East Carolina

Deunta Williams, JR, North Carolina
Dominique Franks, JR, Oklahoma

Kyle Wilson, SR, Boise State
Joe Haden, JR, Florida

From the release:

The Jim Thorpe Award "watch list" is determined by analysis of the pre-season All-American teams listed in at least six pre-season college football annual magazines. Four points are awarded for first team, three points for second team, two points for third and one point for honorable mentions. This procedure determines approximately 30-40 players on the pre-season watch list. This list is not final and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses.

A "Screening Committee" of Jim Thorpe Association members follows these players throughout the season, watching games and researching information sources to grade Thorpe Award candidates on the basis of performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The committee meets on the first Monday in November to narrow the field to 10 or 12 semi-finalists.

The committee meets again on the Monday before Thanksgiving to select the three finalists. The names of these finalists are submitted to a national panel of about 50 sports writers, sportscasters, coaches and former players who vote to determine the winner. The three finalists are invited to the ESPN College Football Awards Show, and the winner is announced during the show.