Courtesy of Air Force
Air Force senior safety Trey Taylor has been named the 2023 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Winner. The award is given to the top defensive back in college football based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The announcement was made live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN. Taylor received the 2023 honor on behalf of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and presenting sponsor Paycom.
Taylor is the first-ever Thorpe Award recipient from Air Force and only the second Falcon to win a major college football award, joining Chad Hennings, 1987 Outland Trophy recipient. Taylor led overall ballots as a 47% first place vote favorite with an average rank winning by only .12 to the runner-up in the nationwide voting.
A First-Team All-MW selection at safety, Taylor contributed 71 tackles, three interceptions, 4 PBUs and a first-career touchdown and recorded TFLs in four games in his best season yet for the Falcons.
Taylor posted an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 82.6 and was credited with allowing just 18 receptions on 31 targets for an average of 10.1 yards per reception.
Taylor proved to be a leader for the Falcons by also being honored with this year’s Defender of the Nation Award, given to a college football player from one of the nation’s service academies based on exceptional leadership qualities, performance on and off the field, and a high standard of integrity.
Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Paycom will honor Taylor at the 38th Anniversary of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet and recognize the 2nd Annual Aeneas Williams Award Winner in Oklahoma City on Feb. 6, 2024.
For more information on the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award and past award recipients, please visit oklahomasportshalloffame.org.
PAYCOM JIM THORPE AWARD IMPORTANT DATES
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024
Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet
Honoring the 2023 Winner in Oklahoma City
The official presentation of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award takes place in Oklahoma City, following The Home Depot College Football Awards. The current winner and all former winners are invited each year to celebrate. Over 600 supporters attend the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet each year, including many celebrities and dignitaries.
For ticketing and advertising information regarding the upcoming banquet, please visit oklahomasportshalloffame.org/events.
The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes college football’s most prestigious awards, and its 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients dating back to 1935. For more information about the NCFAA and its award programs, visit the redesigned NCFAA.org or follow on Twitter at @NCFAA.
The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is awarded to the best defensive back in college football based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The award was established in 1986 and is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon. The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is universally accepted as one of the nation’s top collegiate sports honors.
Paycom Software, Inc. (“Paycom”) (NYSE: PAYC), a leading provider of comprehensive, cloud-based human capital management software, and the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame jointly announced in May 2017 an exclusive sponsorship of the Jim Thorpe Award. As a result, the accolade has been named the “Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.”
The Aeneas Williams Award is awarded to the best defensive back in Historically Black Colleges and Universities Division I college football based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character. This award will serve as the first of its kind in HBCU history in honor of its namesake, Southern University walk-on and Pro Football Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams. The contribution of HBCUs to the landscape of college football and the NFL has forever left an impact on the game. HBCUs hold an incredibly rich athletic tradition, tied to the game of football, that continues to exemplify the culture of these schools for over the past century.