Oliver, Shivers On Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List

June 30, 2003

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Arizona State juniors R.J. Oliver and Jason Shivers have been named to the preseason watch list for the prestigious Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top defensive back. Both players enter the 2003 season as two of the best in the Pac-10 at their positions.

Oliver is coming off of a season that saw him lead the Pac-10 in passes defended with 22 (4 Int., 18 PBU) on his way to earning All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors. Shivers has led the Sun Devils in tackles both of his season in Tempe and he notched 121 in 2002, tied for the most in the Pac-10. He also earned All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors last year.

The Thorpe Award is one of college football's most sought after honors. It is named after one of the greatest all-around athletes in history, who excelled as a running back, passer, kicker and defensive back. Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.

The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists the first Monday in November and then to three finalists the Monday before Thanksgiving. The winner will be announced on ESPN's College Football Awards Show, telecast from Disney World on December 11. The official presentation of the award will be in Oklahoma City on February 9.

The watch list is derived through a point system based on All-American teams and Honorable Mentions published in at least six pre-season football magazines. A candidate must be listed as high as third-team All-American in at least one publication or as a fourth team or honorable mention in at least three of these publications. The watch list is not final and players not on the list who have exceptional season may be added at a later date.

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