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2016 Jim Thorpe Award watch list

For the first time, the Jim Thorpe Award could crown the same king two years in a row.

Desmond King, that is.

The Iowa cornerback and defending Thorpe Award winner leads the honor's 2016 watch list, released Monday. King is the first Thorpe Award winner, which goes to the nation's top defensive back, to ever return to college the following year, making him the first winner with a chance to repeat.

Conspicuously absent from the list was Florida CB Jalen Tabor, who was rated by NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein as the No. 1 defensive back in college football. Tabor was a first-team All-SEC pick by the league's coaches last year, making four interceptions and 14 pass breakups. His absence from the list doesn't preclude him from winning, however, as candidates can be added during the season.

Some other top defensive backs among the 39 selected to the watch list include FSU's Derwin James, USC's Adoree' Jackson, LSU's Jamal Adams and Michigan's Jourdan Lewis. The winner will be announced on Dec. 8. The Thorpe Award has a strong history of first-round NFL draft picks; nine since 2004, most recently Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard in 2013.

Watch lists for other awards will be released this month as follows:

2016 Thorpe Award watch list

Jamal Adams, LSU
Tony Annese, Central Michigan
Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
Budda Baker, Washington
Bobby Baker, Georgia State
Quin Blanding, Virginia
Cody Brown, Arkansas State
Sean Chandler, Temple
Jeremy Cutrer, Middle Tennessee
Zach Edwards, Cincinnati
Nate Gerry, Nebraska
Adoree' Jackson, USC
Eddie Jackson, Alabama
Derwin James, Florida State
Sidney Jones, Washington
Damontae Kazee, San Diego State
Desmond King, Iowa
Roland Ladipo, Air Force
Jourdan Lewis, Michigan
William Likely, Maryland
Shawun Lurry, Northern Illinois
Marcus Maye, Florida
Demetrius Monday, Kent State
Deatrick Nichols, USF.
Jeremy Reaves, South Alabama
DeJuan Rogers, Toledo
Boise Ross, Buffalo
Weston Steelhammer, Air Force
Jordan Sterns, Oklahoma State
Jamar Summers, Uconn
Cameron Sutton, Tennessee
Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson
Ahmad Thomas, Oklahoma
Jaleel Wadood, UCLA
Tre'Davious White, LSU
Jordan Whitehead, Pittsburgh
Marcus Williams, Utah
Andrew Wingard, Wyoming
Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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