Fresno State safety Derron Smith on Jim Thorpe Award watch list

The Fresno BeeJuly 11, 2014 

Fresno State's Derron Smith heads downfield after intercepting a pass against Nevada in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Fresno, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.

GARY KAZANJIAN — Associated Press Buy Photo

Fresno State safety Derron Smith was named Friday to the preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award.

Smith is a two-time, first-team All-Mountain West selection. He leads all Bulldogs in games played (42), career tackles (211), interceptions (14) and interception return yardage (275). His 14 career interceptions are the most of any active FBS player while his return yardage is the second highest in the nation.

The Jim Thorpe Award watch list is chosen by a screening committee who compile a list of 30-50 players. The list is not final, and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses. The Thorpe Award winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 11 on ESPN.

Here's a full list of the preseason honors for Smith:

• Watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award (nation's best defensive back)

• Watch list for the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation's most outstanding defensive player)

• Watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award (College Defensive Player of the Year)

• Watch list for the CFPA Defensive Back of the Year Trophy

• Watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy (college football defensive player with the biggest IMPACT on his team both on and off the field)

• Second-team preseason All-American, Lindy's Sports

• Third-team preseason All-American, Athlon Sports

• Third-team preseason All-American, Phil Steele

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