HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - University of Southern Mississippi junior safety Ky’el Hemby was one of 46 players nationwide named to the 2019 Thorpe Award’s preseason “Watch List.”
Hemby, who transferred in January 2018 to USM from Iowa Western Community College, finished his first season as a Golden Eagle with a team-high six interceptions and will return this fall as USM’s leading returning tackler (51 stops in 2018).
The Thorpe Award annually recognizes the best defensive back in college football. The award is based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character.
The preseason represents 10 conferences and one independent. Hemby was one of five defensive backs representing Conference USA.
The “Watch List” was selected by a screening committee, which compiles a list of 30 to 50 players. The list is fluid, with players who have outstanding seasons added as the year moves along.
Eventually, the list is whittled down to three finalists, with the winner announced Dec. 12.