Only a few days after being named to the Bednarik watch list, junior cornerback Jordan Lucas is one of 39 players to be named to the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List. The award, which has only been around since 1986, has never been won by a Penn Stater.
Lucas is the top tackler in the defensive backfield, and was the third leading tackler on the team in 2013 (after LBs Glenn Carson and Mike Hull) with 65 tackles (45 solo), including 4.5 for loss and one sack. He had a team-high 3 interceptions and 13 passes broken up and 16 passes defended--which wasn't even close to anyone else on the squad, as many opposing offensive coordinator saw Lucas as a weakness they chose to exploit, much to their detriment as the season wore on.
Lucas is getting much of the preseason love this year, but as a close watcher of this program, I have to ask--what about Adrian Amos? His stats weren't as flashy last season, but that has as much to do with him switching between his more natural safety position and cornerback, where the Nittany Lions were much thinner, as it does with opposing quarterbacks avoiding him as much as possible--because he was simply that good in years past. While he's not getting the recognition, Amos still is the cream of the 2014 defensive backfield crop, and will lead the way for the Lions in 2014.