Tony Jefferson, a junior safety at OU, has been named one of 15 semifinalists for the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football. The three finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 19th, with the winner announced on Dec. 6th.
Jefferson is from Chula Vista, Calif., and leads the Sooners with 59 tackles, including a team-high 36 solo stops. Jefferson has registered double-digit tackles in four games this season, including a team-high 11 tackles against Notre Dame and a career-best 14 stops against Kansas State.
Jefferson was a member of the 2012 Jim Thorpe Preseason Watch List released this past summer after garnering All-Big 12 honorable mention accolades in 2011. He was also named to the Bednarik, Camp and Nagurski Award watch lists.
Jefferson garnered Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week honors on Oct. 17 after recording a team-high seven tackles and an interception for Oklahoma in its 63-21 win over Texas.
The Thorpe Award is named after Oklahoma native and one of history's most accomplished athletes, Jim Thorpe. It's presented by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City. Thorpe excelled at every sport in which he competed, including football at which he played on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The 2012 Olympics marked the 100-year anniversary of Thorpe winning gold in the decathlon and pentathlon at the Stockholm Olympics.