After closing the 2017 campaign on a high note, Texas Longhorns cornerback Kris Boyd will enter his senior season on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list. The Jim Thorpe Award is an annual honor presented to the nation’s top defensive back.
As a junior, Boyd struggled out of the gates, but as the season progressed, so too did his performance. In a sense, Oklahoma State served as a Boyd’s coming out party, in which he totaled a career-high 13 tackles and two pass breakups, and he closed the 2017 season in an even more convincing fashion, making multiple plays in the secondary against Texas Tech and Missouri to the tune of six pass breakups and one interception.
Boyd capped his junior season with new career-high efforts in tackles (54), passes defended (15), and interceptions (2). As a result, Boyd’s stock had risen to the point that there was legitimate concern he’d follow in the footsteps of DeShon Elliott and Holton Hill and depart for the NFL one season early. Rather than pursue a professional career, though, Boyd is back at Texas for his final season and he’ll enter the 2018 slate on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list, which complements his praise as a preseason All-Big 12 selection.
Since the award’s inception in 1986, Michael Huff and Aaron Ross have taken home the Jim Thorpe Award in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Quentin Jammer, Earl Thomas, and most recently, Elliott last season, have each finished as finalists as well.