Tis the season for award watch lists. The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame released their preseason list for the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award 2017, which is awarded to the top defensive back in college football. Senior Cowboy safety Tre Flowers was one of 45 to make the list.
Flowers comes off a 61-tackle junior season in which he led the Cowboys in pass breakups (seven), forced fumbles (two) and blocked kicks taken house (one). After losing his longtime backfield mate and leading OSU tackler Jordan Sterns, Flowers’ role on the defense will be crucial.
He’ll have some help in the form of two cornerbacks-turned-safeties in Ramon Richards and Darius Curry. But with all the turnover and moving pieces, Flowers should provide some stability to a secondary with more questions than answers.
The Big 12 had five DBs included on the list. West Virginia’s Dravon Askew-Henry, Iowa State’s Kamari Cotton-Moya, TCU’s Nick Orr and Kansas State’s D.J. Reed were also included. Preseason All-Big 12 DB Jordan Thomas of OU was not included, apparently because of multiple arrests.
“I hated it when I saw it,” Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame president Eddie Griffin told the Oklahoman of Thomas’ omission. “We’d go against our principles and criteria and everything we’ve done in the past (if he was on the list). You’ve got to be a great player to win the Jim Thorpe Award. But you’ve also got to be a man of character and a community leader. All those sorts of things.”
The winner will be announced from a group of three finalists on December 7 at The Home Depot College Football Awards.