Four Big 12 defensive backs have been named to the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list.
Cornerback Nigel Malone (Kansas State), safety Tony Jefferson (Oklahoma), cornerback Brodrick Brown (Oklahoma State) and safety Kenny Vaccaro (Texas) have been selected among the 35 athletes on the watch list for the honor, presented to the nation's top defensive back.
Jefferson and Brown were both semifinalists for the trophy last season.
The award is named after Jim Thorpe, a first-team Walter Camp All-America selection in 1911 and '12. The Jim Thorpe Award watch list is determined by analysis of the preseason All-American teams listed in at least six preseason college football annual magazines. However, the preliminary list is not final and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses.
A screening committee of Jim Thorpe Association members grades the candidates on the basis of performance on the field, athletic ability and character.
Semifinalists for the Thorpe Award will be announced October 29, with three finalists selected November 19. The winner of the trophy will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on December 6.