The Jim Thorpe Award is handed out every year to the best defensive back in college football. Recipients are graded “based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character.”

This year’s list features Central Michigan senior DB Amari Coleman.

Coleman, born and raised in Flint and a graduate of New Lothrop High School, was named to first-team All-MAC on defense a season ago. His four interceptions were tied for the most in the conference, two of which he returned for scores. In addition, he broke up 15 passes and logged 48 tackles, both career-highs.

For his career thus far in Mount Pleasant, Coleman has totaled 97 tackles (5.0 for loss), one sack and picked off opposing quarterbacks five times and brokeĀ up 21 would-be completions.

Coleman is one of 45 players named to the highly-coveted Jim Thorpe Award watch list, an honor that will be given out on December 7 as part of ESPN’s College Football Awards show. Coleman is one of three players from the MAC to crack the list, along with Miami’s Heath Harding and Northern Illinois’ Shawun Lurry.

Coleman is also one of three Chippewas to make preseason watch lists. Center Austin Doan was named to the Rimington Trophy (best center) watch list last week, while tight end Ty Conklin found himself on the Mackey Award (best tight end) watch list.