USC’s Mukuamu Named to Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List

USC’s Mukuamu Named to Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List
South Carolina defensive back Israel Mukuamu (24) is seen during the Florida game in Columbia, S.C. on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA) (Source: Travis Bell)

University of South Carolina junior defensive back Israel Mukuamu was named to the preseason watch list for the prestigious Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (OSHOF) and Jim Thorpe Association announced today.

Mukuamu, a 6-4, 205-pound defensive back from Bossier City, La., was an AP second-team All-SEC selection a year ago. He led the Gamecocks with four interceptions, including three in the upset win over third-ranked Georgia. A starter in 14-consecutive games, Mukuamu was named to the 2020 Lott IMPACT Trophy preseason watch list. Last week, he was named to Phil Steele's preseason second-team All-SEC unit and was a preseason fourth-team All-American, according to Steele.

The Thorpe Award preseason watch list includes 49 of the nation's best defensive backs, representing 10 conferences. The preseason watch list is selected by a screening committee whose members compile a list of up to 50 players. This list is not final and players who have outstanding seasons may be added as the season progresses.

The preseason watch list is compiled by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame based on previous performance and preseason All-America lists. A screening committee, consisting of OSHOF members, monitor the watch list players and narrow the field to 10 to 15 semifinalists on the first Monday of November. This committee reconvenes on the Monday before Thanksgiving to select three award finalists. The three finalists are submitted to a national panel of over 250 sports writers, sportscasters, former players and coaches who vote to determine the winner of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.