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Thorpe Award Watch List Includes Four In-State Players

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Two Sooners, a Cowboy and a Golden Hurricane have been named to the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award watch list that honors the nation’s best defensive back. Two Sooners, a Cowboy and a Golden Hurricane have been named to the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award watch list that honors the nation’s best defensive back.

OKLAHOMA CITY – As the preseason award watch lists continue to be unveiled, this week begins with four in-state players being named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list.

Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson and Jamell Fleming, along with Oklahoma State's Markelle Martin and Tulsa's Marco Nelson were all named to the Thorpe Award watch list that honors the nation's top defensive back.

During the 2010 season, Jefferson tallied 65 tackles and two interceptions, along with two sacks for the Sooners. His success during the year helped him to be named the Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year.

Also for the Sooners, Fleming recorded 75 tackles and five interceptions during his junior campaign. Fleming was second in the nation last year for passes broken up and was also selected to the All-Big 12 First Team.

Read more about Fleming recently rejoining the OU roster.

For Oklahoma State, Martin recorded 55 tackles and three interceptions last season.

Meanwhile, Nelson helped the Golden Hurricane with 86 tackles and six interceptions last season.

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Jim Thorpe Award. Originally established in 1986, it is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.

The award will be announced Dec, 8 2011 on ESPN and the 25th Annual Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 in Oklahoma City.

2011 Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List
Ray Armstrong, Miami (FL), SS
Mark Brown, Alabama, SS
John Boyett, Oregon, FS
Brandon Boykin, Georgia, CB
Morris Claiborne, LSU, CB
Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska, CB
Tony Dye, UCLA, CB
Matt Elam, Florida, SS
Antonio Fenelus, Wisconsin, CB
Jamell Fleming, Oklahoma, CB
Donnie Fletcher, Boston College, CB
Blake Gideon, Texas, FS
Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina, CB
Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt, CB
Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech, CB
Delano Howell, Stanford, SS
Duke Ihenacho, San Jose State, SS
George Iloka, Boise State, FS
Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma, FS
Leonard Johnson, Iowa State, CB
Coryell Judie, Texas A&M, CB
Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama, CB
Robert Lester, Alabama, FS
Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State, SS
TJ McDonald, USC, FS
Chase Minnifield, Virginia, CB
Marco Nelson, Tulsa, FS
Brian Peters, Northwestern, FS
Greg Reid, Florida State, CB
Xavier Rhodes Florida State, CB
Josh Robinson, UCF, CB
Trenton Robinson, Michigan State, FS
Harrison Smith, Notre Dame, FS
Keith Tandy, West Virginia, CB
Kenny Tate, Maryland, FS
Tramain Thomas, Arkansas, FS
Prentiss Waggner, Tennessee, SS

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