BERKELEY – Senior cornerback Camryn Bynum and senior inside linebacker Kuony Deng added to their 2020 preseason honors on Monday when they were named to watch lists for the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award and The Butkus® Award honoring the nation's top defensive back and linebacker, respectively.
The preseason watch list for the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award compiled by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame includes 49 student-athletes representing 10 conferences based on previous performance and preseason All-America lists. The award was established in 1986 and is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. A screening committee consisting of OSHOF members will monitor the student-athletes on the watch list and others before narrowing the field to 10-15 semifinalists on November 2 before the three finalists are selected on November 23. A national panel of over 250 sportswriters, sportscasters, former players and coaches will vote to determine the winner. All three finalists are invited and required to attend The Home Depot College Football Awards Show Presented by Gildan on December 10, where the winner will be announced. The show will be broadcast live on ESPN from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.
The collegiate preseason watch list for The Butkus® Award is comprised of 51 football student-athletes to mirror the legendary "51" pro jersey associated with the award's namesake Dick Butkus, who was recognized by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history. The 51 names come from 44 different college football programs. Semifinalists are expected to be announced November 2, finalists on November 23 and the winner on December 8. The Butkus® Award honors linebackers at three levels of football (high school, college, professional) and was founded in 1985 before being expanded in 2008. The award supports causes important to the Butkus family including the I Play Clean® initiative promoting training and nutrition instead of performance-enhancing drugs, and the Butkus Takes Heart™ initiative encouraging early cardiovascular screening among adults.
Below are notes each on Bynum and Deng, as well as a list of Cal's 2020 honors to date. Extended bios are available by clicking on each name.
Camryn Bynum, CB, 6-0, 200, RSr., 3L, Corona, CA (Centennial HS)
– Has started each of Cal's last 38 games at cornerback over the past three seasons after redshirting as a 2016 true freshman to equal the longest active string of current starts on the team and posted career totals of 169 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss (-13 yards), 0.5 sacks (-5 yards), five interceptions, 27 pass breakups and 32 passes defended
– Earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors from the league's coaches as a 2019 junior when he was one of seven Cal players including five on the defensive side of the ball to start all 13 games, and was third on the team with a career-high 63 tackles while also picking up a career-high 3.0 tackles for loss, one interception, and team highs of nine pass breakups and 10 passes defended
Kuony Deng, ILB, 6-6, 250, RSr., 1L, Aldie, VA (Independence Community College/Virginia Military Institute/John Champe HS)
– Earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors in a vote of the league's coaches in his first season at Cal as a 2019 junior when he was one of seven players overall including five on the defensive side of the ball to start all 13 games and was second on the team with 119 tackles, while adding 7.5 tackles for loss (-27 yards), 3.0 sacks (-12 yards), eight pass breakups, eight passes defended, five quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery
– Ranked third in the Pac-12 and 15th in the NCAA with his 119 tackles as a junior, while he was fourth in the Pac-12 and 27th nationally in per-game total tackles with 9.2
2020 Cal Football Honors
Luc Bequette (Sr., DL) – Second-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (BANG/Jon Wilner), Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon, Phil Steele, Pick Six Previews)
Christopher Brown Jr. (Jr., RB) – Doak Walker Award Preseason Candidate, Second-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon, Lindy's, Phil Steele), Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Pick Six Previews)
Camryn Bynum (Sr., CB) – Bednarik Award Watch List, First-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (BANG/Jon Wilner, Lindy's), Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List, Second-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon, Phil Steele, Pick Six Previews)
Jake Curhan (Sr., OL) – Second-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (BANG/Jon Wilner, Phil Steele), Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon, Lindy's, Pick Six Previews)
Kuony Deng, ILB (Sr., ILB) – Bednarik Award Watch List, First-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele), Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List, Second-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon, BANG/Jon Wilner, Pick Six Previews), The Butkus® Award Watch List, Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Lindy's)
Chase Garbers (Jr., QB) – Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon, Lindy's, Pick Six Previews), Fourth-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele)
Tony Gonzalez (1994-96, TE) – College Football Hall Of Fame Ballot
Cameron Goode (Sr., OLB) – Second-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Lindy's), Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele), Fourth-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon)
Elijah Hicks (Sr., S) – Second-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon), Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele)
Brett Johnson (So., DL) – Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon)
Zeandae Johnson (Sr., DE/DT) – Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele)
Tevin Paul (Sr., OLB/DE) – Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Lindy's)
Nikko Remigio (Jr., WR/PR) – Fourth-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 Wide Receiver (Athlon), Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 Punt Returner (Athlon, Phil Steele)
Ron Rivera (1980-83, LB) – College Football Hall Of Fame Ballot
Michael Saffell (Sr., OL) – Second-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Pick Six Previews), Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon, Lindy's), Fourth-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele)
Slater Zellers (So., LS) – Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele)
Both the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award and The Butkus® Award are members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which is unveiling its preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Fourteen of the association's 25 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award's preseason candidates.
2020 NCFAA Preseason Watch List Calendar
Monday, July 13 – Bednarik Award
Tuesday, July 14 – Davey O'Brien Award
Wednesday, July 15 – Doak Walker Award
Thursday, July 16 – Biletnikoff Award
Friday, July 17 – Mackey Award
Monday, July 20 – The Butkus® Award & Paycom Jim Thorpe Award
Tuesday, July 21 – Bronko Nagurski Trophy & Outland Trophy
Wednesday, July 22 – Lou Groza Award & Ray Guy Award
Thursday, July 23 – Paul Hornung Award & Wuerffel Trophy
Friday, July 24 – Maxwell Award