Texas A&M football’s Demani Richardson was named to the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List, announced by the Oklahoma Sports Club and Jim Thorpe Association Thursday morning. The award is given annually to the best defensive back in college football based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character.
Richardson, who has also earned Preseason All-SEC Second Team honors, served as a team captain last season and enters his fifth season as a starter in the secondary. He has missed just one start in the 44 games he has appeared in. The Waxahachie, Texas, native led the Aggies in total tackles with 73 in 2022 and ranked 11th in the SEC with 48 solo takedowns. He was second on the team with five pass breakups on the year and earned a pair of SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors after scoring defensive touchdowns in the wins over No. 10 Arkansas and No. 6 LSU.
The Paycom Jim Thorpe 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. Finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 28 and the winner will be honored at the Jim Thorpe Award Banquet on Feb. 6.