CLEVELAND, Ohio- After making several big plays defensively for No. 3 Alabama in their 27-11 win over No. 23 Penn St, senior free safety Mark Barron (Mobile, A.L.) has been named the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week.
Barron totaled seven tackles with an interception and a fumble recovery and both of his take-aways thwarted Penn St drives inside Crimson Tide territory. The interception ended a Penn State drive at the UA 9-yard line in the third quarter and the fumble recovery stopped the Nittany Lions at the Alabama 35-yard line in the fourth quarter. Barron is part of an Alabama defense that limited Penn St to just 251 total yards on 69 offensive plays and he leads a secondary that currently ranks third in the NCAA in pass efficiency defense.
Barron is a two-time 1st-team All-SEC performer and last year led the Crimson Tide defense in tackles with 75. This summer he was also named to the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List.
Honorable Mention Players for Week Two:
Phillip Thomas, Syracuse, Junior Safety-Thomas had four tackles (all solo stops), two interceptions and a pass breakup to help Syracuse hold off upset-minded Rhode Island in a 21-14 win. Thomas’ second pick came in the fourth quarter on Rhode Island’s final possession to clinch the win.
Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt, Senior Cornerback-Hayward had four tackles including one for a loss and returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown in the 24-21 win over Connecticut. Hayward was on the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List and has been an integral part of helping Vanderbilt start 2-0 this season.
Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech, Sophomore Cornerback-Fuller picked up four tackles, including two for loss, an interception and a pass break up in Virginia Tech’s 17-10 win over East Carolina. Fuller was a lynchpin in a secondary that held a potent East Carolina passing attack to just over 100 yards through the air.
Jonte Green, New Mexico State, Senior Cornerback-Green led the Aggies with 10 solo tackles in New Mexico St’s 28-21 upset win over Minnesota. Green also forced a fumble and broke up a pass as the Aggies won their first game over a BCS school since 1999.
About the Jim Thorpe Award:
The Thorpe Award, one of the most coveted awards in college football, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2011. The Award, established in 1986, is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
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 Show on December 8, 2011 on ESPN.
The 25th Anniversary Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 in Oklahoma City, OK.
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, 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 atjimthorpeassoc.org and PhilSteele.com.