OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame has announced the three finalists for the 2020 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, which honors the best defensive back in college football. The award is based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character.
Richie Grant (UCF, AAC), Trevon Moehrig (TCU, BIG 12) and Patrick Surtain II (Alabama, SEC) are the three defensive backs chosen as the 2020 finalists. This group of finalists represents three conferences, including one conference championship team.
The award recipient will be selected from the three finalists by the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award National Selection Committee, which includes members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), an Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in-house award committee, former Paycom Jim Thorpe Award recipients and sportswriters and college football journalists throughout the country.
The 2020 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, 7-8:30 p.m. ET Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, live on ESPN.
The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award commemorative banquet is scheduled to be held Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Oklahoma City.
2020 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Finalists
Richie Grant, University of Central Florida, Safety, R-Sr.
- Played all nine regular season games, starting eight times at safety
- Led the Knights with 72 tackles and added 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack and a quarterback hurry
- Also led the way with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries to go with two forced fumbles
- Added six pass breakups, which was second on the team
- Ranked second in the AAC and ninth in the nation with two fumble recoveries
- Led the conference with 5.4 solo tackles per game
- Unanimous first-team all-conference selection by The American
- Semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award
- Named Jim Thorpe Award Honorable Mention Player of the Week (Week 2)
- Named to Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, Chuck Bednarik Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy Preseason Watch Lists
- Earned Athlon preseason first-team all-conference honors
Stats received from University of Central Florida
Trevon Moehrig, Texas Christian University, Safety, Jr.
- One of four players to be a semifinalist for the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award and Chuck Bednarik Award
- First-Team All-Big 12 for the second straight season
- Rated by ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. as the No. 1 safety eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft
- Ranked by Pro Football Focus as the nation’s top safety with the third most valuable season in the PFF College era
- TCU team captain in each game this season
- Key part of TCU’s late-season surge that has seen it win its last three games and five of the past six
- Had the game-saving interception with a one-handed snag in the end zone in the final minutes of a 29-22 win over No. 15 Oklahoma State on Dec. 5
- Taken part in nine takeaways over the last two years, tied for the second-best total in the FBS
- Ranks among the national leaders at 1.1 passes defended per game (two interceptions, nine pass breakups)
- His 11 passes defended trail-only teammate Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson (13) in the Big 12
- Places third on TCU with 47 tackles, including 2.0 for loss
Stats received from Texas Christian University
Patrick Surtain II, University of Alabama, Cornerback, Jr.
- Earned First Team Preseason All-America recognition from ESPN
- Earned Second Team Honoree by The Associated Press, Sporting News, USA Today and the Walter Camp Award
- Played in every game during his time at UA, with 35 consecutive starts
- Top-rated corner by Pro Football Focus
- Allowed 25 yards receiving or fewer in eight of 10 games and only 16 completions for 190 yards
- Tied the team high with eight pass breakups and totaled 29 tackles, including two for loss
- Additional stats for the season include two quarterback hurries, a fumble recovery and a pick-six from 25 yards out
- Named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, Paycom Jim Thorpe Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy
- Earned Defensive Player of the Week honors from the Alabama coaching staff for his play against Ole Miss, Georgia, Mississippi State, Auburn and LSU
Stats received from University of Alabama
PAYCOM JIM THORPE AWARD FINALISTS FAN VOTE
For the third consecutive year, the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award will hold the official Finalists Fan Vote. Voting will open Tuesday, Dec. 22, and close Friday, Jan. 1, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winner of the fan vote will receive one vote toward the overall nationwide results. Use the link below to be directed to the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Finalists Fan Vote.
The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about this association.
The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is awarded to the best defensive back in college football based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The award was established in 1986 and is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon. The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is universally accepted as one of the nation’s top collegiate sports honors.
Paycom Software, Inc. (“Paycom”) (NYSE:PAYC), a leading provider of comprehensive, cloud-based human capital management software, and the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame jointly announced in May 2017 an exclusive sponsorship of the Jim Thorpe Award. As a result, the accolade has been named the “Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.”