OSU's Gilbert Named Thorpe Award Finalist
Oklahoma City, OK - Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert is one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation's top defensive back, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced today. The other two finalists are Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard and Florida State's Lamarcus Joyner.
Darqueze Dennard, Sr. Michigan State - Dennard ranks among the Big Ten leaders in interceptions (4), pass break-ups (7) and passes defended (11), is one of the main reasons why Michigan State leads the Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense (236.6 ypg.) and ranks second in the FBS in pass efficiency defense (93.7 rating) and eighth in passing defense (177.3 ypg.). He ranks fifth on the team with 47 tackles, including two for losses (4 yards), and has one forced fumble. Dennard was also named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
Justin Gilbert, Sr. Oklahoma State - Gilbert has six interceptions this season, a mark that leads the Big 12 and ranks fifth nationally. He has two pick-sixes on the year (at Iowa State and at Texas). Gilbert's 11 career interceptions rank him 16th among all active players and his 25 career pass break-ups are the most for any Cowboy. Additionally, he has three non-offensive touchdowns this year; a 31-yard interception return at Iowa State, a 100-yard kickoff return vs. Kansas and a 43-yard interception return at Texas. He has eight non-offensive touchdowns in his career.
Lamarcus Joyner, Sr. Florida State – Joyner leads the No. 2 ranked Seminoles with five sacks and three forced fumbles, and also has 55 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups and an interception. He has started 38 games in his career and is the veteran leader of the nation's fifth-ranked defense, second-ranked scoring defense and passing defense. Joyner's signature performance came at then-No. 3 Clemson on Oct. 19 when he had eight solo tackles, one sack, an interception and forced two fumbles in the 51-14 Seminole victory. Joyner was also named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
The three Jim Thorpe Award finalists will be highlighted on ESPNU during The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special airing Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 4:30 p.m. (CT).
This year's Jim Thorpe Award winner will be revealed on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards airing live from the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's BoardWalk at the Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 6:00 p.m. (CT).
Past Five Jim Thorpe Award Winners
2012 – Jonathan Banks (Mississippi State)
2011 – Morris Claiborne (LSU)
2010 – Patrick Peterson (LSU)
2009 – Eric Berry (Tennessee)
2008 – Malcolm Jenkins (Ohio State)