Oklahoma City—The Jim Thorpe Association announced today three finalists for the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football. The Thorpe Award, one of the most coveted awards in college football is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2011. This Award, established in 1986, is named after 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.
Thorpe Award Finalists
David Amerson, Soph. North Carolina State: Leads the nation with 11 interceptions for the season and has one touchdown return from an interception. He has had two interceptions in three different games: Liberty, Central Michigan, and Virginia. Has 25 solo tackles, and 51 total tackles for the year and five passes defended.
Mark Barron, Sr. Alabama: Six-time Alabama Defensive Player of the Week. Has 12 career interceptions that ranks eighth in Alabama history, with two this season. On the season has 31 solo tackles and 52 total tackles, and five passes defended. Named Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week following Penn State game.
Morris Claiborne, Jr. LSU: Tied for fourth in SEC in number of interceptions with four (4) and is second in the league in interception return yards with 128. Has 24 solo tackles on the year and 40 total tackles, with four passes defended. Also a kickoff return threat, has 14 returns on the year totaling 398 yards and one touchdown.
The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official website, ncfaa.org.
The presentation of the Thorpe Award will be featured on The Home Depot College Football Awards live on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. The show, hosted by ESPN’s Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard will feature the live presentation of nine player awards, along with the recipients of Disney’s Spirit Award; The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award, the NCFAA (National College Football Awards Association) Contributions to College Football Award; and student-athletes selected to the Walter Camp All-America Team. Fans can visit the show’s dedicated Web site at www.espncollegefootballawards.com to find the latest college football awards news, including show details, previous winners, fan voting, a photo gallery and video highlights.
The 25th Anniversary Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 in Oklahoma City, OK at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Ticket and sponsorship questions should be directed to the Jim Thorpe Association at 405.427.1400