JONESBORO, Ark. — Less than a week after receiving preseason All-Sun Belt honors, a pair of Arkansas State defensive backs were named to the 2019 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List.
Redshirt senior Darreon Jackson and junior cornerback Jerry Jacobs were tabbed to the 46-player list, announced Monday by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. The award annually recognizes the best defensive back in college football and is based on an individual’s on-field performance, athletic ability and character, making it one of the most coveted awards in college football.
Jackson and Jacobs become the eighth and ninth selections in program history, giving A-State two Thorpe Award Watch List selections in the same season for the second time in program history. Rocky Hayes and Sterling Young were both named to the list in 2014.
Entering his third and final season as a Red Wolf, Jackson was named Second Team Preseason All-Sun Belt after being a third-team honoree in 2018. During his time in Jonesboro, Jackson has appeared in all 25 games, earning the starting nod in all 13 outings a year ago when he posted career-best numbers for tackles (90), tackles for loss (6.5) and sacks (1.5). He also led the team in total tackles and was the league’s leading tackler among defensive backs.
The Derby, Kan., native was also a Preseason First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection by Phil Steele’s andCollege Football News, in addition to receiving second-team laurels by Lindy’s and Athlon Sports. In 2018, Jackson received Third Team All-Sun Belt honors by Phil Steele’s.
Jacobs earned a preseason First Team All-Sun Belt nod last week after earning second-team honors in 2018, his first season as a Red Wolf. He appeared in all 13 games, drawing 11 starts, and finished the season with 31 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, eight pass break-ups and 12 total passes defended. He also tallied a team-high four interceptions, which ranked tied for second in the league. Lindy's, Street & Smith's and College Football Newsalso awarded Jacobs with a first-team nod, while Phil Steele's and Athlon Sports listed him on their second team All-Sun Belt preseason honor list.
The 2019 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan on Thursday, December 12, 2019, on ESPN. The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award commemorative banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, in Oklahoma City.
Arkansas State is set to open its 2019 season Aug. 31 with a 6:00 p.m. kickoff at Centennial Bank Stadium against SMU. Season tickets are available for purchase through the A-State Ticket Office, located at First National Bank Arena’s lower red entrance, in person, by phone at 870-972-2781 or online by visiting AStateRedWolves.com.
A-State On The Jim Thorpe Award Watch List
2019: Darreon Jackson
2019: Jerry Jacobs
2018: Justin Clifton
2017: Justin Clifton
2016: Cody Brown
2014: Rocky Hayes
2014: Sterling Young
2007: Tyrell Johnson