Tony Jefferson of Oklahoma Named Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week
CLEVELAND, Ohio – After recording a team-high seven tackles and an interception for No. 13 Oklahoma in their dominating 63-21 win over No. 15 Texas, junior safety Tony Jefferson (Chula Vista, Calif.) has been named the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week.
Jefferson also added a team-high two tackles for loss and was one of the defenders in on an Oklahoma safety that extended their lead to 29-2 in the second quarter.
Jefferson was a member of the 2012 Jim Thorpe Preseason Watch List released this past summer after sensational freshman and sophomore seasons that saw him garner All-Big 12 accolades each year.
Honorable Mention Players for Week Seven:
Cody Davis, Texas Tech, Senior Safety – Davis logged a game-high 13 tackles and had two pass breakups in Texas Tech’s 49-14 upset of No. 5 West Virginia. Davis was a key component of a Red Raider defense that held one of the nation’s best offenses to convert just 30 percent of their third downs and just 22 percent of their fourth downs.
Steve Williams, California, Junior Cornerback - Williams notched a career-high four pass breakups and intercepted a pass in Cal’s end zone in a 31-17 victory over Washington State. Williams also added a team-high six tackles.
Eric Reid, LSU, Junior Safety – Reid had seven tackles and an interception in No. 9 LSU’s 23-21 win over No. 3 South Carolina. Reid’s interception came in the fourth quarter with LSU trailing 14-13 and his subsequent 29-yard return to the South Carolina 22-yard line set the Tigers up for a field goal that would give them the lead for good.
Matthias Farley, Notre Dame, Sophomore Safety – Farley recorded his first career interception and added eight tackles in No. 7 Notre Dame’s 20-13 overtime home win over No. 17 Stanford. Farley returned his first-quarter interception 49 yards, setting up the first score of the game for the Fighting Irish and his tackle for loss in the fourth quarter thwarted the Cardinal from scoring a touchdown late.
About the Jim Thorpe Award:
The Thorpe Award is named after history’s greatest athlete, Jim Thorpe, and is presented by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City. Thorpe excelled at every sport in which he competed, including football at which he played on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The 2012 Olympics mark the 100-year anniversary of Thorpe winning gold in the decathlon and pentathlon at the Stockholm Olympics.
The candidates for the award are selected by a “screening committee” of Jim Thorpe Association members who follow several players throughout the season, watching games and researching information sources to grade Thorpe Award candidates on the basis of performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The committee then narrows the field to three finalists and the names of these finalists are submitted to a national panel of about 50 sports writers, sportscasters, coaches and former players who vote to determine the winner.
The Thorpe Award winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on December 6, 2012 on ESPN.
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, www.NCFAA.org.
Each week, Phil Steele will be overlooking the candidates issued by the school, the conference and distinguished committee members. After including his own personal input, the winner will be announced every Wednesday at jimthorpeassoc.org and PhilSteele.com.