November 23, 2021
The senior cornerback has 14 passes defended for nation’s top pass defense
s have emerged as the top pass defense in the nation, ranking first nationally in pass efficiency defense (94.92), second in opponent completion percentage (52.8%), second in passing yards allowed (155.5) and third in interceptions (16).
The Cleveland, Ohio, native has three interceptions and 11 pass breakups to go along with three forced fumbles in 2021. He ranks fifth in the nation in passes defended (14) and his 45 career passes defended ranks second among active players.
Opposing quarterbacks have completed just 40.7% of their passes against Bryant in 2021, according to Pro Football Focus College.
Bryant collected All-AAC First Team honors in 2020, and he is also a semifinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy this fall. He used his extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic to return to school and lead Cincinnati to one of the greatest seasons in school history. The Bearcats are 11-0 for the second time in school history and rose to No. 2 in the AP and Coaches’ Polls earlier this season.
The Thorpe award recipient will be selected from the three finalists by the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award National Selection Committee, which includes members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), an Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in-house award committee, former Paycom Jim Thorpe Award recipients and sportswriters and college football journalists throughout the country.
The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is awarded 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 history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon. The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is universally accepted as one of the nation’s top collegiate sports honors.
CINCINNATI FOOTBALL NATIONAL AWARD FINALISTS
CB Coby Bryant – Jim Thorpe Award (Nation’s Best Defensive Back)
LB Darrian Beavers – Dick Butkus Award (Nation’s Best Linebacker)
QB Desmond Ridder – Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (Nation’s Best Senior QB)
COURTESY UC ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS