More preseason honors for Arkansas football: Catalon, Pool named to preseason watchlists
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - 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 senior linebacker Bumper Pool was named to the watch list for the prestigious Butkus Award on Monday, which is presented annually to the nation’s top linebacker.
The Butkus Award watch list includes 51 linebackers, mirroring the legendary “51″ pro jersey associated with the award’s namesake, Dick Butkus, who was recognized by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history. The Butkus Award is focused on recognizing linebackers who consistently play off the ball on their feet in a two-point stance in traditional form.
This is the fourth preseason honor for Pool, who already compiled Phil Steele Preseason Second Team All-American, Phil Steele Preseason First Team All-SEC and Preseason Second Team All-SEC recognition.
The Lucas, Texas, native led the Hogs in total tackles with 125 (45 solo), his second straight season with 100+ total tackles. He is one of college football’s premier tackling machines, totaling the second-most stops (320) among all FBS defenders since 2019, and enters the 2022 season with 349 career tackles – ninth most all-time at Arkansas – to his name.
The award semifinalists are expected to be named on Oct. 31 with finalists to follow on Nov. 21. The winner will be named on or before Dec. 7. Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award.
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.
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