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#CFBTop25: No. 23, Desmond King, CB, Iowa

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Desmond King won the Jim Thorpe Award -- which is presented to the nation's top defensive back -- during Iowa's charmed 2015 season, which saw the Hawkeyes exceed expectations and reach the Rose Bowl.

CFB 24/7 is marking the days to the start of the 2016 season by counting down the top 25 players in college football.

King was a consensus first-team All-American after leading the Big Ten with eight interceptions. He also excelled as a return specialist, averaging 24.4 yards on 29 kickoff returns and 14.2 yards per punt return. Despite his breakthrough junior season, King opted to bypass the 2016 NFL Draft. That decision earned King the No. 2 spot in CFB 24/7's "16 for '16" countdown of the best college football players who bypassed the draft. King is vying to be the first back-to-back winner of the Thorpe Award.

Pulling back the curtain on the vote


King earned votes from four of seven CFB 24/7 experts, with the highest vote coming in at No. 15.

What some of our analysts are saying about King


"There will be players on this list behind King who might get drafted ahead of him, but when it comes to competing and producing at a high level, King is the guy. His football IQ and ball skills separate him from many cornerbacks with more athletic ability." -- Lance Zierlein

* * *

"A flat-out ballhawk (no pun intended, Hawkeyes fans ... OK, maybe a little), who caught my eye on TV last season, and is even more impressive on tape." -- Charles Davis

* * *

"King not only gives the Hawkeyes a top-notch cover man, but a stingy run defender on the perimeter as well." -- Chase Goodbread

* * *

"King made headlines with eight interceptions in his junior year. But his willingness in run support and open-field tackling ability are impressive, as well." -- Chad Reuter

Where do fans rank King?


We asked Twitter users who they considered the best player in college football. King didn't receive a vote from the fans, which was a bit of a surprise given that he is the reigning Jim Thorpe Award winner and Iowa experienced the sort of rosy season it did in 2015.

Follow College Football 24/7 on Twitter @NFL_CFB.

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