Georgia football safety Lewis Cine has officially made the shortlist for the 2021 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award as they announced all 12 semifinalists on Monday.
Finally, the Dawgs get someone on an award semifinalist list after getting snubbed for the Lombardi Award. Cine is hands down one of the best defensive backs in the country.
The Jim Thorpe Award is given to the best defensive back in the country each year. Deandre Baker is the Dawgs lone winner of the award as he won it back in 2018. Now Cine has the opportunity to become the second Georgia player.
As someone who leads this defense and plays with the aggressive nature Cine does, he is an excellent candidate for the award. He is one of two SEC players to make the semifinalist list as he joins Jaylan Foster from South Carolina.
On the season, Cine has 28 total tackles, one tackle for loss, an interception, five pass breakups, and a quarterback hurry.
He is all over the field, but more importantly, Cine is helping lead the rest of this secondary. As one of the most experienced players back there, he signals to the other guys to do things, helps come in and make the takes. He is the leader, and it shows on the field.
Cine is an old-school kind of safety, one that will take off a wideouts head if he needs to, and we mean that in the safest way possible. Since getting a few targeting calls early on in his career, the safety learned to hit hard without getting flagged for it.
That kind of tenacity is what NFL coaches dream of and want out of their safeties. Look at Deandre Baker and how it has helped him be aggressive but smart in the secondary.
Georgia football once again has a top-notch defensive back who can make big plays. If Cine continues to play at this level, the Dawgs could have their second Jim Thorpe trophy in Athens.