Thorpe Award watch list

Three Big East players were selected to the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the top defensive back in the nation.

They are:

I thought all three players were slam-dunk candidates for the watch list. Holley and Smith are among the best defensive players in the Big East, having made the Big East first team last year, and Ryan emerged as a shut-down cornerback. I think defensive back is one of the deepest and best positions in the league, so watch for other players like Adrian Bushell of Louisville, Duron Harmon of Rutgers, Blidi Wreh-Wilson of UConn, Drew Frey of Cincinnati, Kayvon Webster of USF and Shamarko Thomas of Syracuse as 2012 gets going.