Horton and Keyes Named to Jim Thorpe Award Pre-Season Watch List

July 26, 2007

Fifth-year starting safeties Chris Horton and Dennis Keyes have been name to the Jim Thorpe pre-season 'watch list,' it was announced on Wednesday.

The leading candidates for the 2007 Jim Thorpe Award are included in a pre-season 'watch list' derived through a point system based on pre-season All-American teams listed in various football publications.

The Thorpe Award, presented annually to the nation's best college defensive back, is one of college football's most sought after and prestigious awards. It is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, a man who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense, but also was an awesome defensive back. Recognized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame simply as 'The Legend', Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.

The watch list is narrowed to 10 semi-finalists the first Monday in November and then to three finalists the Monday before Thanksgiving. The winner is announced on ESPN's College Football Awards Show, nationally telecast on December 6. The official presentation of the award will be in Oklahoma City on February 12.

LEADING PRE-SEASON CANDIDATES FOR 2007 JIM THORPE AWARD

Jamar Adams - Sr. - Michigan
Josh Barrett - Sr. - Arizona State
Zackary Bowman - Sr. - Nebraska
Tony Carter - Jr. - Florida State
Antoine Cason - Sr. - Arizona
Simeon Castille - Sr. - Alabama
Quintin Demps - Sr. - UTEP
Brandon Flowers - Jr. - Virginia Tech
Courtney Greene - Jr. - Rutgers
Michael Hamlin - Jr. - Clemson
Nic Harris - Jr. - Oklahoma
Victor Harris - Jr - Virginia Tech
Jonathan Hefney - Sr. - Tennessee
Chris Horton - Sr. - UCLA
Malcolm Jenkins - Jr. - Ohio State
Tyrell Johnson - Sr. - Arkansas State
Dennis Keyes -Sr. - UCLA
Justin King - Jr. - Penn State
Jamal Lewis - Sr. - Georgia Tech
Dwight Lowery - Sr. - San Jose State
Taylor Mays - So. - USC
Mike Mickens - Jr. - Cincinnati
Paul Oliver - Sr. - Georgia
Derek Pegues - Jr. - Mississippi State
Kenny Phillips - Jr. - Miami FL
Myron Rolle - So. - Florida State
Reggie Smith - Jr. - Oklahoma
Marty Tadman - Sr. - Boise State
Aqib Talib - Jr. - Kansas
Terrell Thomas - Sr. - USC
DeJuan Tribble - Sr. - Boston College
Eric Wicks - Sr. - West Virginia
Terrence Wheatley - Sr. - Colorado
Trae Williams - Sr. - South Florida
Tom Zbikowski - Sr. - Notre Dame

The Jim Thorpe Award 'watch list' is determined by analysis of the pre-season All-American teams listed in at least six pre-season college football annual magazines. Four points are awarded for First Team, three points for second team, two points for third and one point for fourth teams and honorable mentions. This procedure determines approximately 40 players on the pre-season watch list. This list is not final and players who have good seasons are added as the season progresses.

A 'Screening Committee' of Jim Thorpe Association members follows these 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 meets on the first Monday in November to narrow the field to 10 or 12 semi-finalists.

The committee meets again on the Monday before Thanksgiving to select the three finalists. 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.

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