OKLAHOMA CITY (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Preseason accolades continue to roll in for Mississippi State’s Cameron Dantzler as the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced the cornerback to the 2019 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List on Monday.
The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award annually recognizes the best defensive back in college football. The award is based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character. It is considered one of the most coveted awards in college football.
Dantzler was one of 46 defensive backs to be named an early candidate for the award and was one of just five Southeastern Conference players to make the list. Earlier this month, Dantzler was named to the 2019 Bednarik Award Watch List, which is awarded to the top defensive player in college football.
A preseason All-American, Dantzler is arguably the top returning SEC cornerback this year. He ranked second in the conference last season among corners with a 41.1 passer rating allowed, according to Pro Football Focus, and was one of only four SEC cornerbacks that did not allow a touchdown (min. 345 coverage snaps played). The Louisiana product also had a pair of interceptions and led the Bulldogs in passes defended (11).
Dantzler enters his junior season with 68 career tackles, including four for loss and a sack. He has added three interceptions and 15 passes defended.
The 2019 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards presented by Gildan on Dec. 12 on ESPN. The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award commemorative banquet will be held on Feb. 4, 2020, in Oklahoma City.