MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State senior safety Kobe Savage picked up his second watch list designation of the preseason on Thursday as he was named a candidate for the 2023 Jim Thorpe Award, the award’s association announced.
Savage, who last week was on the initial watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, is the second Wildcat in as many years to be a candidate for the award that goes to the nation’s best defensive back as cornerback Julius Brents was also a preseason candidate last year. Other notable K-State candidates for the award include Jaime Mendez (1993 semifinalist), Chris Canty (1995 and 1996 finalist), Terence Newman (2001 semifinalist and 2002 winner), Nigel Malone (2011 and 2012 semifinalist) and Ty Zimmerman (2013 semifinalist).
A transfer prior to last season from Tyler Junior College, Savage shined in his first 10 games as a Wildcat prior to an injury that cut his season short. Despite missing the final four games, Savage went on to earn All-Big 12 Second Team honors from the league’s coaches in addition to picking up votes for the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year award. He finished the year tied for fourth on the team with 58 tackles to go along with three interceptions, which tied for 43rd nationally and sixth in the Big 12.
Kansas State now has 11 preseason watch list honors this year. Quarterback Will Howard was named a candidate for the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and Wuerffel Trophy, offensive linemen Cooper Beebe and KT Leveston were on the Outland Trophy watch list, wide receiver/returner Phillip Brooks is up for the Hornung Award, tight end Ben Sinnott is on the John Mackey Award watch list, running back Treshaun Ward is a candidate for the Doak Walker Award, and long snapper Randen Plattner is on the watch list for the Patrick Mannelly Long Snapper of the Year Award.
K-State begins its 2023 season on September 2, as the Wildcats host SEMO in a 6 p.m., contest inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Tickets to the seven-game home slate can be purchased online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets or by phone at 1-800-221-CATS.