Iowa defensive back Riley Moss is on the Jim Thorpe Award watchlist after a breakout season in 2021. The Thorpe Award is given to college football’s most outstanding defensive back each year. Moss is one of 35 DBs included on the list.
No surprise here.@R_moss5 has been named to the @jimthorpeaward watch list.#Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/Sqn5eVjRhK
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) July 25, 2022
Riley Moss is already a decorated defensive back. He is a first team All-American selected by Sporting News and first team All-Big Ten selection by coaches in 2021. Moss was getting on the field and making an impact as a freshman back in 2018. Last season he had 4 interceptions and returned 2 for touchdowns.
Much like the Hawkeyes last Jim Thorpe Award winner Desmond King back in 2015, Moss is as dangerous after the interception as he is in coverage. King captured the award after an 8 interception season. It was not just the interceptions that got him there. He was an all-around playmaker from chasing down opponents in the open field to his unbelievable recovery speed. King also broke games open in the return game. Moss has the benefit of playing behind an exceptional linebacking corps and is part of one of, if not the best secondary in the Big Ten.
Thorpe Award Favorites
Eli Ricks spent last season in Death Valley playing across from Derek Singletary Jr. A shoulder injury curtailed his sophomore campaign but he had already proven he was among the best man coverage corners in the game. Now Ricks will try to stand out again, this time in Tuscaloosa as a member of the Crimson Tide.
Georgia’s Kelee Ringo may be the one player standing in Ricks’ way of becoming the latest Thorpe Award winner. Ringo fits the mold of an Ahmad Gardner-type DB in stature and physicality. At 6’2 and north of 200 pounds, he does not sacrifice any speed or mobility. He saw more targets than many of the top players on the watchlist but that is not a slight on him. Ringo was just a freshman in 2021 and despite the looks, he gave up completions on only about 40-percent of his targets.
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