Andrew Mukuba has joined the list of Clemson Football players who have accrued preseason watchlist honors.
Mukuba has been named to the 2023 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List. He will be a junior this season for the Tigers out of Austin, Texas. He was a 4-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite and was also named to the All-ACC preseason team.
The Thorpe is given annually to the best defensive back in the nation. It was created in 1986 and is named after Jim Thorpe, who was an Olympic medalist in addition to a consensus All-American and NFL All-Pro. Thorpe played for Carlisle Indian Industrial School for legendary coach Pop Warner before becoming a professional player and coach.
The award is voted on by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. Last season’s winner was Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson from TCU. No player from Clemson has ever won the award. Oklahoma and LSU have the most Thorpes with three each.
Andrew Mukuba from Clemson Football is one of the few ACC defensive backs named to the Thorpe watchlist
Mukuba is joined by 34 other defensive backs on the watchlist, including Fentrell Cypress from Florida State, Kamren Kinchens from Miami, and Aydan White from NC State from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
No other players from the Carolinas beyond Mukuba and White were included. Other notable names include Kool-Aid McKinstry from Alabama, Malaki Starks from Georgia, and Cooper DeJean from Iowa.
Will Shipley (Maxwell, Doak Walker, Wuerffel, Paul Hornung), Cade Klubnik (Davey O’Brien), Jeremiah Trotter (Bronko Nagurski), Barrett Carter (Bronko Nagurski), Ruke Orhorhoro (Outland), Tyler Davis (Outland & Bronko Nagurski), Will Putnam (Rimington), Jake Briningstool (John Mackey) and Dabo Swinney (Dodd) have also been named to preseason watchlists.
There are two more watchlist announcements to come.
Fri., Aug. 11: Walter Camp Award
Mon., Aug. 14: Bednarik Award