Alabama football’s Xavier McKinney has been tabbed to the 2019 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List announced today by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

McKinney is among 46 defensive backs from around the country named to the preseason list. Minkah Fitzpatrick took home the award in 2017, while Antonio Langham previously won the award for Alabama in 1993 to become the Crimson Tide’s first recipient.

McKinney enters the new season as one of the top safeties in the country. The junior broke out in 2018, playing all 15 games after securing one of the starting safety spots in the fall. McKinney finished last season ranked third on UA in tackles with 73, including six for loss (-44 yards) and three sacks (-40 yards). He also tied for second on Alabama with two interceptions as a sophomore, including one of the Tide’s pick-sixes, and contributed 10 pass breakups, a pair of quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.

The Jim Thorpe Award has been presented annually since 1986 by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame to recognize the top defensive back in college football. The award is named in honor of multi-sport legend Jim Thorpe. The 2019 winner will be announced at the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show in December.

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