T.J. Tampa named to Jim Thorpe Watch List

The following is a press release from Iowa State Athletics Communications:

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State senior defensive back T.J. Tampa has been selected as part of the 2023 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List, announced Thursday by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association.

Tampa is one of 35 defensive backs on the list, which represents 10 conferences and one independent school.

The St. Petersburg, Florida, native is a preseason All-Big 12 pick by the league’s coaches and is also on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. He earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors in 2022.

Tampa started all 12 games last season and tallied 40 tackles, including five stops for a loss. He intercepted his first pass against Oklahoma State and finished the season with a team-high nine pass breakups, which tied for fourth most in the Big 12 Conference.

Pro Football Focus ranks Tampa as the highest graded returning cornerback in the Big 12 Conference.

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