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Wisconsin football: Eric Burrell added to Jim Thorpe Award watchlist

Senior safety Eric Burrell made an esteem watch list for the top defensive back in the country.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Rose Bowl - Oregon v Wisconsin Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With preseason watch list season in full effect, safety Eric Burrell decided it was time to throw his name in the ring.

The senior safety was one of four Big Ten defensive backs to be named to the preseason Jim Thorpe Award watch list, given to the top defensive back in the country on an annual basis. Overall there were 49 individuals from across the country who made the cut.

Also making the list from the B1G were Ambry Thomas of Michigan, Shaun Wade of Ohio State, and Lamont Wade of Penn State.

In his first season as a full-time starter, Burrell had an outstanding junior season last year with 55 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, three interceptions, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

With a flair for the dramatic, Burrell always seems to be around the ball to either create or be on the receiving end of turnovers the past two seasons. He is projected to be a featured member in the defensive secondary come fall, and should be tasked with being a leader in 2020.

Since the award began in 1986, Jamar Fletcher is the only Wisconsin player to ever win the award as the recipient in 2000.