The 2010 Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list was recently released and includes 35 of the nation's best defensive backs as the leading candidates for this year's trophy.
Three of those players come from the Big Ten. Iowa's Tyler Sash and Ohio State's Jermale Hines and Chimdi Chekwa all represent the Big Ten this year on the watch list.
Sash was a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award in 2009. To go along with the Thorpe watch list, he has been named to the Lott Trophy Watch List and the Bronko Nagurski Award Watch List.
Sash has started 21 straight games for the Hawkeyes and holds the Iowa record for career interception return yards.
Hines and Chekwa both appear on Phil Steele's preseason first-team all-Big Ten. Hines returned an interception for a touchdown in 2009. Chekwa recorded eight passes broken up.
The Jim Thorpe Award watch list is determined by analysis of the preseason All-American teams listed in at least six preseason college football annual magazines. The Thorpe Award is one of college football's most sought after and prestigious awards.
It is named after one of history's greatest all-around athletes. Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
The field will be narrowed to 10-12 semifinalists in November, with three finalists being announced later that month. Formal presentation of the award takes place on the first Tuesday in February following the national signing date for recruits.