Brontae Harris

Cullman product and UAB standout Brontae Harris is pictured.

Brontae Harris was named to the Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list this week.

The award is presented annually to the nation's top defensive back.

The 2015 Cullman High graduate will enter his redshirt junior season with UAB this fall.

Harris, who notched 34 tackles and team highs in pass breakups (11) and interceptions (two), helped the Blazers finish ninth nationally in total defense last season en route to taking home All-Conference USA honorable mention accolades.

According to Pro Football Focus, Harris allowed a paltry 43.5 passer rating when targeted in coverage in 2018 and is the highest graded returning defensive back (89.8) in the conference.

He was also a preseason first-team All-Conference USA selection by Athlon Sports in May.

"It’s truly a blessing being able to be on the list for the top defensive back in the country," Harris said. "That’s a dream for every defensive back growing up. But I didn’t get there by mistake. I worked for it and continue to work for the blessings I’ve yet to receive; but most importantly, I pray. And that connection with God is what brings me these blessings. It’s not me.

"I’m extremely ready for the 2019 season as one of the 'veterans' on the defense. We’ve got a lot of young guys that are my little brothers, and I can’t wait to go out there and line it up with them every game. Plus, we’ve been doubted again. So there’s fuel to the fire added to the repeat we’re chasing."

% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at​

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I'm an Auburn University graduate with a passion for sports, reading and diet Mountain Dew.