And the Jim Thorpe Award Goes to…

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Phillip Thomas Named the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week

CLEVELAND, Ohio- After equaling a Mountain West record with three interceptions for Fresno State in their 69-14 win over Colorado, senior safety Phillip Thomas (Bakersfield, CA) has been named the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week.

Thomas returned two of his three picks for touchdowns; one from 16 yards out and the second from 43 becoming the only FBS player to record two interception return touchdowns in a single game this season and the third to do so in Mountain West history.

Thomas also added two tackles and a quarterback hurry in addition to his three interceptions.

Honorable Mention Players for Week Three:

Jonathan Dowling, Western Kentucky, Sophomore Safety – Dowling became the fifth Hilltopper in school history and first since 1978 to record three interceptions in a game as WKU upset Kentucky 32-31 in overtime. Dowling racked up 70 total return yards on his three interceptions and also finished with four tackles.

Sheldon Price, UCLA, Senior Cornerback – Price matched a school record by recording three interceptions in UCLA’s 37-6 win over Houston. All three of Price’s interceptions came in the second half and he also added two pass break-ups.

Kenronte Walker, Missouri, Senior Safety Walker made two key plays at the goal line late in the game to preserve Missouri’s 24-20 win over Arizona State. With 3:36 left in the 4th quarter, then he deflected a Sun Devil pass on a 4th-and-goal with less than a minut left in the game, intercepted a pass at the MU 20-yardline and returned it 49 yards to seal the Tiger victory.

Ronald Martin, LSU, Sophomore Safety Martin had five tackles and two interceptions in LSU’s 63-14 win over Idaho. With LSU up just 14-7 in the second quarter, Martin returned one of his interceptions 45 yards for a touchdown.

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 Tuesday at jimthorpeassoc.org and PhilSteele.com.

Upcoming Events

October 2012
Leadership Luncheon

October 15, 2012
Bedlam Golf Classic

November 3, 2012
Night at the Museum Auction

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