OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Senior Tar Heel safety Tre Boston was named a top candidate for the prestigious Jim Thorpe Award on Friday, adding the ninth preseason nomination for the UNC football team.

The veteran, Boston, grabbed honorable mention All-ACC honors from the coaches and media last season. He led the team with 86 stops, featuring 49 solo tackles. The senior from Ft. Myers, Florida also snagged a team-leading four interceptions, including one that he took back for a touchdown in the win at Virginia.

Boston will be competing with 48 of the nation’s premier defensive backs, representing eight conferences and one independent, for the right of claiming the title of the nation’s best in 2013.

The Jim Thorpe Award was established in 1986 and is named after a man largely considered history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in both the decathlon and pentathlon.

Next up on the preseason award watch list docket are The Butkus (linebackers) and the Rotary Lombardi (linemen) awards. These lists will be released on Monday.