SALT LAKE CITY — University of Utah junior cornerback Brandon Burton is among 35 student-athletes named to the watch list for the 2010 Jim Thorpe Award, presented annually to the nation's best defensive back.

Burton, who was recently named to the 2010 preseason all-Mountain West Conference team, started 12 of Utah's 13 games last season as a sophomore. Hailing from Houston, Texas, Burton led the Utes and tied for second in the conference with 10 pass breakups last season. He finished the season tied for fourth in the MWC with an average of 0.85 passes defended while also notching 47 tackles, four tackles for loss, a sack and an interception.

Burton is the third Ute player named to a 2010 watch list thus far. Earlier, senior offensive linemen Zane Taylor and Caleb Schlauderaff were named to the Outland Trophy Watch List. Taylor and Schlauderaff were also selected to the preseason all-MWC team, as was senior running back Eddie Wide.

The Thorpe Award recognizes performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The watch list is based on preseason All-American teams listed in at least six annual college football magazines. The winner will be announced on Dec. 9.