Nebraska has another player on a national-award watch list. Senior cornerback Chris Jones is one of 45 names on the list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top defensive back.
Jones, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in 2016 after tallying 37 tackles, 10 pass breakups and three interceptions. One recent NFL draft analyst recent wrote that Jones has the potential to be a day-two draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Four Big Ten players joined Jones on the list: Marcus Allen (Penn State), Rashard Fant (Indiana), Godwin Igwebuike (Northwestern) and Denzel Ward (Ohio State). Two players Nebraska will face in nonconference play — Justin Clifton (Arkansas State) and Shawun Lurry (Northern Illinois) — also made the list, as did one player Husker fans may remember from 2016.
Wyoming defensive back Andrew Wingard — whose father, Dan, lettered as a punter at Nebraska in the 1980s — was named to the Thorpe watch list and also landed on the Nagurski Trophy watch list this week. Wingard had 13 tackles and an interception in a 52-17 loss to Nebraska in Lincoln last year.