DíJoun Smith Named to the Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List
Conference USA has placed five players on the preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. The five selections tie for the most of any conference, along with the ACC, Big Ten and Mountain West.
C-USA is represented by Florida Atlantic senior CB D'Joun Smith, Middle Tennessee junior S Kevin Byard, Rice senior CB Bryce Callahan, UTSA senior FS Triston Wade and WKU senior CB Cam Thomas.
Smith concluded the 2013 season ranked second nationally in interceptions (7) and third in passes defended (13). The Miami native ended the year with 35 tackles, two TFLs, one sack and two forced fumbles. Smith garnered Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week honors twice, won the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week honors for his efforts in the win at South Florida and was named FAU's 2013 MVP.
The Jim Thorpe Award watch list is chosen by a screening committee who compile a list of 30-50 players. 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 Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, on ESPN.
The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 in Oklahoma City.