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Mukuba Placed on Thorpe Award Watch List

Mukuba Placed on Thorpe Award Watch List

The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association announced today that safety Andrew Mukuba has been named as one of 35 members on the 2023 watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented annually to the nation’s top defensive back.

Additional information from award organizers is included below. Visit the 2023 Preseason Honors hub for more preseason accolades garnered by Clemson.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Today, Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (OSHOF) and Jim Thorpe Association released the prestigious Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List. This list includes 35 of the nation’s best defensive backs, representing 10 conferences and one independent university. The preseason watch list is selected by a screening committee whose members compile a list of up to 50 players based on previous performance in NCAA Division I college football and preseason All-America lists. This list is not final, and players who have outstanding seasons may be added to the semifinalists and finalists lists as the season progresses.

2023 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List

Micah Abraham, Marshall, Sr.
Yam Banks, South Alabama, Jr.
Cole Bishop, Utah, Jr.
Cobee Bryant, Kansas, Jr.
Calen Bullock, USC, Jr.
Denzel Burke, Ohio State, Jr.
Fentrell Cypress II, Florida State, Jr.
Cooper DeJean, Iowa, Jr.
Tra Fluellen, Middle Tennessee, Sr.
Marcus Fuqua, Buffalo, Sr.
Jack Howell, Colorado State, Jr.
Will Johnson, Michigan, So.
Kamren Kinchens, Miami (FL), Jr.
Kalen King, Penn State, Jr.
Ike Larsen, Utah State, So.
Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama, Jr.
Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo, Jr.
Jarius Monroe, Tulane, Sr.
Benjamin Morrison, Notre Dame, So.
Andrew Mukuba, Clemson, Jr.
Josh Newton, TCU, Sr.
Tyler Nubin, Minnesota, Sr.
Lathan Ransom, Ohio State, Sr.
Demani Richardson, Texas A&M, Sr.
Willie Roberts, Louisiana Tech, Sr.
Teldrick Ross, Middle Tennessee, Sr.
Kobe Savage, Kansas State, Sr.
Jay Stanley, Southern Miss, Sr.
Malaki Starks, Georgia, So.
Reddy Steward, Troy, Sr.
Cameron Stone, Hawaii, Sr.
Upton Stout, Western Kentucky, So.
TJ Tampa, Iowa State, Sr.
Trey Taylor, Air Force, Sr.
Aydan White, NC State, Jr.

By Conference
AAC (1), ACC (4), Big Ten (6), Big 12 (4), C-USA (4), Independent (1), MAC (2), MW (4), PAC-12 (2), SEC (3), Sun Belt (4)

The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes college football’s most prestigious awards and its 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients dating back to 1935. This season, 12 NCFAA awards will honor national players of the week each Tuesday.

Sixteen NCFAA members are unveiling preseason watch lists over a two-week period as the association spearheads a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the remaining 2023 preseason watch list calendar:

Mon., July 31: Maxwell Award
Tue., Aug. 1: Outland Trophy/Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Wed., Aug. 2: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
Thu., Aug. 3: Paul Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy
Fri., Aug. 4: Mackey Award/Rimington Trophy

Mon., Aug. 7: Biletnikoff Award
Tue., Aug. 8: Davey O’Brien Award
Wed., Aug. 9: Doak Walker Award
Thu., Aug. 10: Butkus Award/Paycom Jim Thorpe Award
Fri., Aug. 11: Walter Camp Award

Mon., Aug. 14: Bednarik Award

For more information about the NCFAA and its award programs, visit the redesigned or follow on Twitter at @NCFAA.

Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Important Dates

Thu., Aug. 10: Preseason Watch List Announced

Tue., Oct. 31: Semifinalists Announced

A screening committee consisting of OSHOF members monitors all defensive backs throughout the season, including watch list players, and narrows the field to up to 15 semifinalists.

Tue., Nov. 28: Finalists Announced

The three finalists are submitted to a national panel of over 250 sports writers, sportscasters, former players and coaches who vote to determine the winner of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.

Date TBD: Winner Announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards

The winner will be announced on ESPN’s live presentation of The Home Depot College Football Awards. Other recognized NCFAA awards announced include the Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award, Mackey Award, Rimington Trophy, Lou Groza Award, Ray Guy Award, Bronko Nagurski Award, Outland Trophy, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award, Biletnikoff Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Doak Walker Award, Walter Camp Award and others.

Tue., Feb. 6, 2024: Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet Honoring the 2023 Winner
in Oklahoma City

The official presentation of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award takes place in Oklahoma City, following The Home Depot College Football Awards. The current winner and all former winners are invited each year to celebrate. Over 600 supporters attend the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet each year, including many celebrities and dignitaries.

For more information on the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award and past award recipients, please visit