by Grace Tafolla
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas redshirt junior defensive back Jalen Catalon has been selected to the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list, which is presented annually to the nation’s top defensive back.
Catalon is one of 35 players to be named to the list and one of six selections from the SEC.
The Mansfield, Texas, product remains one of the nation’s top defensive backs despite missing most of 2021 due to a season-ending injury. Catalon finished eighth on the team with 46 total tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss despite playing only six games.
Heading into the 2022 season, Catalon has racked up numerous preseason accolades, including Phil Steele Preseason First Team All-America, Phil Steele Preseason First Team All-SEC and First Team Preseason All-SEC praise.
The Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list is selected by a screening committee whose members compile a list of up to 50 players. The screening committee monitors all defensive backs throughout the season, including watch list players, and narrows the field to up to 15 semifinalists in October. The committee reconvenes on the Monday before Thanksgiving to select three award finalists. The three finalists are submitted to a national panel of over 250 sports writers, sportscaster, former players and coaches who vote to determine the winner of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.
The official presentation of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award takes place in Oklahoma City, following The Home Depot College Football Awards.
Arkansas opens the season at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, against Cincinnati on ESPN. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here or by calling the Razorback Ticket Center at (479) 575-5151.