BATON ROUGE - LSU juniors Tyrann Mathieu and Eric Reid were named to the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented annually to the nation's best defensive back, the Jim Thorpe Association announced Friday.
LSU will try to win an unprecedented third straight Thorpe Award after former Tiger greats Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne took home the trophy in 2010 and 2011, respectively. LSU and Texas (2005, '06) are the only two teams to produce Thorpe Award winners in back-to-back seasons.
Mathieu and Reid are joined by three other Southeastern Conference players on the watch list that includes 35 total players from across the country.
Mathieu and Reid tied for the team lead in tackles last season with 76, and both enter the 2012 season with four career interceptions.
A 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist, Mathieu heads into his junior campaign having created a total of 14 turnovers during his career. His 11 forced fumbles rank seventh in NCAA history and are just three shy of the NCAA career record.
One of the nation's top hard-hitting safeties, Reid steps into the 2012 season as one of the leaders on and off the field for the Tigers. He has recorded 108 career tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble to go along with four interceptions.
The Thorpe Award Watch List is chosen by a screening committee who compile a list of 30-40 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 Dec. 6 on ESPN.
2012 NCFAA Preseason Watch List Calendar
Monday, July 9 - Bednarik Award (CB Tyrann Mathieu, DE Sam Montgomery, DE Barkevious Mingo, S Eric Reid) | Details
Tuesday, July 10 - Rimington Trophy (C P.J. Lonergan) | Details
Tuesday, July 10 - Mackey Award (TE Chase Clement) | Details
Wednesday, July 11 - Lou Groza Award (PK Drew Alleman) | Details
Wednesday, July 11 - Ray Guy Award (P Brad Wing) | Details
Thursday, July 12 - Bronko Nagurski Trophy (CB Tyrann Mathieu, DE Sam Montgomery, DE Barkevious Mingo, S Eric Reid) | Details
Thursday, July 12 - Outland Trophy (OT Chris Faulk, OT Alex Hurst, DT Bennie Logan) | Details
Friday, July 13 - Jim Thorpe Award (CB Tyrann Mathieu, S Eric Reid) | Details
Monday, July 16 - Butkus Award
Monday, July 16 - Lombardi Award
Tuesday, July 17 - Biletnikoff Award
Wednesday, July 18 - Davey O'Brien Award
Thursday, July 19 - Doak Walker Award
Friday, July 20 - Walter Camp Award
2012 Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List
Name, School, Year
Johnny Adams, Michigan State, Sr.
Jahleel Addae, Central Michigan, Jr.
Ricardo Allen, Purdue, Jr.
David Amerson, North Carolina State, Jr.
Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State, Sr.
C.J. Barnett, Ohio State, Jr.
John Boyett, Oregon, Sr.
Chad Boyd, Louisiana Tech, Sr.
Brodrick Brown, Oklahoma State, Sr.
Travis Carrie, Ohio, Sr.
Jonathan Cyprien, FIU, Sr.
Matt Elam, Florida, Jr.
D.J. Hayden, Houston, Sr.
Jarred Holley, Pittsburgh, Sr.
Kemal Ishmael, Central Florida, Sr.
Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma, Jr.
Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State, Jr.
Robert Lester, Alabama, Sr.
Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State, Jr.
Nigel Malone, Kansas State, Sr.
Tyrann Mathieu, LSU, Jr.
Dexter McCoil, Tulsa, Sr.
T.J. McDonald, USC, Sr.
Leon McFadden, San Diego State, Sr.
Dayonne Nunley, Miami (OH), Jr.
Jordan Poyer, Oregon State, Sr.
Eric Reid, LSU, Jr.
Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, Jr.
Nickell Robey, USC, Jr.
Logan Ryan, Rutgers, Jr.
Johnnie Simon, Western Michigan, Jr.
Hakeem Smith, Louisville, Jr.
Brynden Trawick, Troy, Sr.
Kenny Vaccaro, Texas, Sr.
Deron Wilson, Southern Mississippi, Jr.