Oklahoma City—The Jim Thorpe Association announced today three finalists for the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football. 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 where he played on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Thorpe Award Finalists:
Johnthan Banks, Sr. Mississippi State—A midseason first-team All-American and All-SEC ,Banks ranks first in career interception yards (320) among active players. He has four interceptions in the 2012 season and 16 in his career, ranking third in the FBS. Banks was also named a Senior CLASS Award Finalist.
Dee Milliner, Jr. Alabama—Milliner leads the SEC and ranks second nationally in passes defended (1.78 pg) with 14 pass breakups and two interceptions. In the 2012 season, he has twice had four pass breakups in a game and three versus Missouri. He is also a Bronko Nagurski finalist.
Phillip Thomas, Sr. Fresno State—Thomas has eight interceptions on the season, leading the FBS and two more than any other player in the nation and more than 35 bowl subdivision teams. He set a Fresno State record and tied the Mountain West record for interceptions returned for touchdowns in a single season with three.
The three Jim Thorpe Award finalists will be highlighted on ESPNU during The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special airing Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. (CT). The 30-minute show, hosted by Matt Schick, will include player interviews and analysis from Kevin Carter surrounding finalists for the Thorpe Award and other members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA).
This year’s Jim Thorpe Award winner will be revealed on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards airing live from the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk at the Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. (CT).
The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 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.
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.