Indiana’s Tiawan Mullen and Micah McFadden have been recognized among the best players at their respective positions entering the 2021 season.
On Monday, Mullen landed a spot on the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which recognizes the nation’s top defensive back. McFadden, meanwhile, received placement on the watch list for the Butkus Award, which goes to the country’s best linebacker. It’s the second preseason honor roll inclusion for both players, who were each selected to the watch list for the Bednarik Award last week.
Mullen and McFadden both earned All-America status in 2020 while helping to lead the Hoosiers to six wins during the abbreviated Big Ten campaign. Mullen, IU’s Defensive Player of the Year, led all conference defensive backs with 3.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss. His three interceptions tied for sixth in the league.
McFadden led the Big Ten with six sacks, while pacing IU with 58 tackles, 44 solo stops and 10.5 tackles for loss.
Here’s the full rundown of IU’s preseason watch list selections:
Jim Thorpe Award: Tiawan Mullen
Butkus Award: Micah McFadden
Mackey Award: Peyton Hendershot
Biletnikoff Award: Ty Fryfogle
B1G Preseason Honors: Michael Penix Jr.
Doak Walker Award: Stephen Carr
Davey O’Brien Award: Michael Penix Jr.
Bednarik Award: Micah McFadden, Tiawan Mullen
Maxwell Award: Ty Fryfogle, Michael Penix Jr.
Dodd Trophy: Tom Allen