Aug. 3, 2006
BERKELEY - University of California cornerback Daymeion Hughes has been named to the Watch List for the 2006 Jim Thorpe Award which goes to the best defensive back in the nation. The senior from Los Angeles has also been listed on the preseason Watch Lists for the Bednarik Award, the Lott Trophy and the Nagurski Trophy.
The 2006 Thorpe Award Watch List was derived through a point system based on 10 pre-season All-American teams. Hughes was among the top five vote-getters in the process, being joined by Miami (Fla.) strong safety Brandon Meriweather, LSU free safety LaRon Landry, Texas strong safety Michael Griffin and Michigan cornerback Leon Hall.
The Thorpe Award is named after one of history's greatest all-around athletes, a man who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense, but also was a standout defensive back. Recognized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame simply as "The Legend", Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists the first Monday in November and then to three finalists the Monday before Thanksgiving. The winner will be announced on ESPN's College Football Awards Show, telecast from Disney World on December 7. The official presentation of the award will be in Oklahoma City on February 7.
Hughes, who has been selected as a preseason All-American by seven different publications, is joined on preseason Watch Lists by Marshawn Lynch (Maxwell Award), Brandon Mebane (Bednarik Award, Lott Trophy, Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy) and Nu'u Tafisi (Hendricks Award).
California is coming off an 8-4 season that included a win at the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl. The Bears ended the 2005 season ranked No. 25 in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls. Cal opens the 2006 season on the road at Tennessee on Sept. 2. The home opener for the Golden Bears is Sept. 9 against Minnesota.
Cal Preseason Watch List Selections
Daymeion Hughes - Bednarik Award, Lott Trophy, Nagurski Trophy, Thorpe Award
Brandon Mebane - Bednarik Award, Lott Trophy, Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy
Marshawn Lynch - Maxwell Award
Nu'u Tafisi - Hendricks Award
Cal Preseason All-Americans (first team unless noted)
Desmond Bishop - Street & Smith's
Daymeion Hughes - Blue Ribbon Defense, Playboy Magazine, Rivals.com, Phil Steele's, Lindy's Football Annual (second team), The Sporting News (second team), Street & Smith's (second team)
Marshawn Lynch - Lindy's Football Annual, Rivals.com, The Sporting News, Street & Smith's, Athlon Sports (second team), Phil Steele's (second team)
Brandon Mebane - Athlon Sports, Lindy's Football Annual, The Sporting News, Rivals.com (second team), Street & Smith's (third team), Phil Steele's (fourth team)
Tim Mixon - Street & Smith's (second team)
Craig Stevens - Street & Smith's (hon. mention)
Nu'u Tafisi - Street & Smith's (second team)
Cal Preseason Top 10 Rankings
No. 6 Street & Smith's (preseason)
No. 7 ESPN.com (post-spring)
No. 8 SI.com (post-spring)
No. 8 Athlon Sports (preseason)
No. 9 Lindy's (preseason)