By Rob Moseley
Preseason accolades keep rolling in for Oregon senior Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, who on Friday was named to the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award.
Ekpre-Olomu, projected as a possible first-round NFL draft pick before returning to school, was a semifinalist last season for the Thorpe Award, which is presented to the nation’s best defensive back. The award is presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
Earlier this week, Ekpre-Olomu was watch-listed for the Bednarik Award and the Nagurski Trophy, each of which is given to a player identified as the national defensive player of the year.
A native of Chino Hills, Calif., Ekpre-Olomu had 84 tackles in 2013, with three interceptions and one forced fumble. The two-time all-Pac-12 selection is entering his third season as a full-time starter.
The two-week release of major awards watch lists will resume Monday with a focus on the trenches, as the Butkus Award (best linebacker) and Rotary Lombardi Award (best lineman) will announce their preseason candidates.