About a week ago it came out that LSU’s excellent cornerback duo of Derek Stingley and Elias Ricks were on the Bednarik Award watch list. Well now we can add Stingley and Ricks to the Thorpe Award watch list, which makes perfect sense as they may be the 1A and 1B best corners in the nation.
The Thorpe Award is given out annually to the best defensive back in America and LSU is quite familiar with the trophy.
LSU has won the award three times with Patrick Peterson being the first in 2010. Morris Claiborne made LSU repeat winners in 2011 and Grant Delpit, who should have won it in 2018, took the award home in 2019. Though many LSU fans will say the Tigers should have won the award four times, with Delpit winning in 2018 and Stingley winning in 2019. I’m not a betting man but if you can find any kind of futures bet on the Thorpe Award, throwing some coin Stingley and/or Ricks’s way probably is a good investment.
But the preseason love doesn’t stop there. Senior linebacker Damone Clark was named to the Butkus Award watch list on Monday and Liam Shanahan found his name on the Rimington Award watch list this past Friday. The Butkus Award is given to the nation’s best linebacker, while the Rimington goes to the best center. Devin White won the program’s only Butkus Award in 2018 and Ben Wilkerson won the only Rimington in 2004.
Suffice to say Clark and Shanahan both had underwhelming 2020 seasons but if one, or both, can live up to the preseason buzz LSU will surely have had a successful 2021 regular season.
The remaining preseason award watch lists will be announced over the remainder of this week. At some point today the list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (best defensive player) and Outland Trophy (best interior lineman) will be released; the Ray Guy (best punter) and Groza (best place kicker) will come out Wednesday and Cade York will surely see his name there; the Hornung Award (most versatile player) and Wuerffel Trophy (community service award) will come out Thursday; and the Maxwell Award (college football’s player of the year) will be released on Friday.