Virginia Tech Football: Waller, Farley named to Jim Thorpe Award Watch List
Given annually to college football’s top defensive back, the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is one of the Association’s most coveted honors. Established in 1986, the award recognizes performance on the field, athletic ability and character, in accordance with its namesake.
Farley (6’2”, 207) blossomed into one of the ACC’s top defensive backs in just his second season playing that position in 2019 after serving as a high school quarterback. A first-team All-ACC pick, he led the ACC with 16 passes defensed and was amongst the nation’s best averaging 1.5 passes defensed per game.
He was tied for second in the ACC with four interceptions and registered a 17-yard INT return TD in a 45-0 shutout of Georgia Tech (11/16).
The Hickory, N.C., native posted a career-high four passes defensed in a 43-41 six-OT win vs. North Carolina (10/19).
Farley, a redshirt junior, has now been included on the Bednarik Award Watch List, presented to the outstanding defensive player in college football as well as Phil Steele’s Preseason All-ACC team this month.
Waller (6’1”, 180) received honorable mention All-ACC accolades in 2019, a season where he started in 10 games and played in all 13 contests. The Washington, D.C., native defended 13 passes, which was tied for seventh in the conference and he was also seventh with three interceptions along with teammate Dax Hollifield.
On the season, he posted 46 tackles, including 33 solo stops, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
Against Miami, Waller came up with two takeaways in the first quarter, part of the Tech defense’s five turnover day as the Hokies defeated the ‘Canes 42-35.
Waller has also appeared on Phil Steele’s Preseason All-ACC team.