Award Watch List season is entering second week and the Buckeyes have a pair of players on the Jim Thorpe Award list, an honor bestowed upon the nation’s top defensive back.
For all the talk of Ohio State being DBU, only two former Buckeyes have won the award with Antoine Winfield (1998) and Malcolm Jenkins (2008) taking home the hardware.
The watch list included 35 players and that list named both Denzel Burke and Ronnie Hickman to the initial list.
Burke, a sophomore cornerback, has already cemented himself in as a starting corner for the Buckeyes and is considered by many to be Ohio State’s No. 1 corner after arriving on the scene as a true freshman into an Ohio State secondary that was looking for some replacements from a year prior.
Last season, Burke had 36 tackles for the team along with 12 PBUs and an interception as teams tried largely to stay away from the then-freshman corner after they realized what the Buckeyes had there.
Hickman, a junior safety played a big role last season for the Buckeyes and will move into a slightly different role, at least in name, as the adjuster in the Jim Knowles defense.
The junior safety led the Buckeyes with 100 tackles last season along with a sack and TFL, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
The Thorpe Award will narrow its list down to 15 players in October and will eventually award the trophy in early December.