Christopher Smith, Kelee Ringo named to 2022 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List
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Christopher Smith, Kelee Ringo named to 2022 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List

Christopher Smith
Photo: Tony Walsh/UGA

UGA football defensive backs Christopher Smith and Kelee Ringo have each been named to the 2022 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Watch List, the Jim Thorpe Association and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (OSHOF) have announced.

The Jim Thorpe Award is an annual award presented “to the best defensive back in college football based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character.”

30-50 student-athletes are named to the list annually by a screening committee and others are added as the season progresses. The field will be narrowed to up to 15 semifinalists in October. Three finalists will be announced at a later date, and the winner will be selected and announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 8 live on ESPN.

This season, 35 student-athletes were named to the Jim Thorpe Award Watch List. Here is the breakdown by conference: AAC (3), ACC (4), Big Ten (6), Big 12 (3), C-USA (1), IND (1), MAC (3), MW (2), Pac-12 (3), SEC (6), and Sun Belt (3).

Christopher Smith, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior from Atlanta, Ga., played in 12 games last season with 11 starts. He recorded 35 total tackles (23 solo, 12 assisted) and three interceptions for 94 total yards and one touchdown.

Kelee Ringo, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound redshirt sophomore, is a native of Tacoma, Wash. Ringo played in all 15 games in 2021 and started in the final 12 games. His 79-yard interception return for a touchdown sealed Georgia’s 33-18 victory over Alabama in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship.

The Georgia Bulldogs are scheduled to open the 2022 season on Saturday, Sept. 3 against the Oregon Ducks in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. (Buy Tickets).

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