Kishawn McClain Named To Thorpe Award Watch List

July 14, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY - Mean Green senior safety Kishawn McClain has been named to the 2017 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award watch list, as announced by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame committee Friday. The list includes 45 of the nation's best defensive backs, representing 10 conferences.

"It was mind-blowing when I first heard about this," McClain said. "It's a big honor and I appreciate it very much. It gives me motivation to keep working hard throughout the season. I want to thank God for the opportunity that my coaches and my teammates have given me. Without them I wouldn't be in the position I am today. I just want to let everyone know that I am going to keep working for it to be one of the top defensive backs in the nation. I just want to have a terrific season and prove to everyone that I can be one of those guys that can play at the next level and I know I can do that."

McClain led the Mean Green in tackles for the second consecutive season in 2016 with 91 (67 solo). He was a second team Conference USA All-Conference selection as a junior in 2016, and was twice named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week. He also intercepted three passes in 2016, which was a career high. A natural leader both on and off the field, McClain was one of five team captains as a junior, and was the only non-senior in that group.

The watch list is chosen by a screening committee who compiles 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 Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, on ESPN.

The award is presented to the best defensive back in college football based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The award was established in 1986 and is named after one of history's greatest all-around athletes, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled not only at multiple positions on the offensive side of the ball; but also stood out as a defensive back and a kicker. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.

Season tickets for the 2017 season are on sale now and fans can purchase tickets through the Mean Green athletics ticket office. For more information, visit or call the ticket office at 940-565-2527 or 800-868-2366.

Official Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame Release



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