Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs named to 2013 Thorpe Award Watch List

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Texas Longhorns Sports Stories
Defensive backs Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs have been named to the watch list for the trophy presented to the best defensive back in college football. - Darren Carroll/Getty Images North America
Defensive backs Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs have been named to the watch list for the trophy presented to the best defensive back in college football. - Darren Carroll/Getty Images North America

Texas Longhorns senior cornerback Carrington Byndom and junior cornerback Quandre Diggs have been named to the 2013 Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list, the Jim Thorpe Association announced today. The Thorpe Award is presented annually to the best defensive back in college football.

Texas has had two winners of the Thorpe Award in its history in S Michael Huff and CB Aaron Ross, who won back-to-back in 2005 and 2006, respectively. UT has also had two other finalists; S Earl Thomas in 2009 and CB Quentin Jammer in 2001, and two other semifinalists; CB Nathan Vasher in 2003 and CBRod Babers in 2002.

Byndom is a fourth-year defensive back who has appeared in 38 games with 26 consecutive career starts. He has tallied 133 tackles (98 solo), 11 TFL, five INT, 22 PBU, one sack, three blocked kicks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his career. He returned two of his five career interceptions for touchdowns and is one of eight players in school history with two or more in a career. Against Texas Tech in 2012, he was named the defensive player of the game and the co-special teams player of the game by the coaching staff after he had five stops (all solo), three pass breakups and also broke up a two-point conversion which would have tied the game and blocked a 23-yard field goal attempt which would have cut into a 31-22 fourth-quarter lead.

Byndom was named to the 2012 Nagurski Trophy and CFPA Defensive Back Trophy watch lists, was named 2011 first-team All-Big 12 (AP, Kansas City Star, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News) and received second-team (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) and honorable mention (Coaches) All-Big 12 honors in 2011. He was a three-time first-team all-district selection and three-year starter at defensive back as a prepster, a member of Rivals' top 250 and ESPNU's top 150 national prospects and ranked as the 10th-best cornerback by ESPNU and 12th-best cornerback by Rivals coming out of high school.

Diggs (who is on other 'watch lists') is a third-year cornerback who has played in 26 career games with 24 consecutive starts. For his career, he has made 113 total tackles (74 solo), eight TFL, eight INT, 22 PBU, three forced fumbles and one sack. He was ranked 10th on the FBS active career interceptions per game list (0.31) at the end of 2012. Diggs has also returned 20 kickoffs for 392 yards and 22 punts for 287 yards. He was named to the 2012 CFPA Punt Returner Trophy watch list and also named second-team All-Big 12 as a punt returner.

In his first season at Texas, he tied a Longhorn freshmen record with four interceptions to go with 51 tackles (33 solo), four tackles for loss, 15 pass breakups and two caused fumbles. He was a 2011 CBSSports.com Freshman All-American and was named to the 2011 Yahoo! Sports Freshman All-America First Team and the 2011 FWAA Freshman All-America Team. Diggs was also tabbed the 2011 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year (Coaches), second team All-Big 12 (Coaches) and honorable mention (AP). He tied a Texas freshmen record with four interceptions. His brother, Quentin Jammer, was a three-year starter and All-America defensive back at Texas (1997-98; 2000-01) and currently plays for the Denver Broncos after spending eleven seasons with the San Diego Chargers (2002-12).

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Diggs has also been named to the 2013 Nagurski Trophy watch list (national defensive player of the year) and the 2013 Paul Hornung watch list (most versatile player in major college football).

Byndom and Diggs join 46 other student-athletes who are vying for this season’s Thorpe Award.

The Jim Thorpe Award is one of the most coveted awards in college football. 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 Jim Thorpe Award watch list is chosen by a screening committee who compile a list of 30-50 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 Thursday, December 12, 2013 on ESPN.

The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 in Oklahoma City, OK.

The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence.Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more.

James Schleicher

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.