University of Wyoming sophomore free safety Andrew Wingard has been selected as one of 39 defensive backs that are on the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List.

Coming off a fantastic freshman season, Wingard earned First Team Freshman All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America in 2015.

Wingard led the Mountain West and ranked fourth nationally in solo tackles per game at 6.9. He was second in the MW and No. 12 in the NCAA in total tackles at 10.2 per game. Wingard led all MW defensive backs in tackles last season and became the first freshman in Cowboy football history to surpass 100 tackles in a single season with 122. His play was recognized by conference coaches and media, as Wingard received Second Team All-MW honors.

Three other MW defensive backs join Wingard on the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List. They are Damontae Kazee from San Diego State, as well as Roland Ladipo and Weston Steelhammer from Air Force. All three are seniors.

The Jim Thorpe Ward has been presented annually since 1986 to college football’s best defensive back by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. This year’s winner will be announced on Dec. 8 during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.

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