Fresno State's Thomas Named Semifinalist for Jim Thorpe Award

Oct. 29, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The Jim Thorpe Association announced Monday 15 semifinalists for the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football, and Fresno State senior Phillip Thomas was named as one of the semifinalists.

Thomas, a 6-1, 215-pound safety out of Bakersfield, Calif., leads the FBS with seven interceptions, three of which he has returned for touchdowns. His seven picks are two more than any other player in the FBS, the most by a Bulldog in 27 seasons and have tied the Mountain West record for picks in a year.

Thomas has two multi-interception games this season, including his three pick game against Colorado on Sept. 15 when he had two pick-sixes. Thomas is a two-time MW Defensive Player of the Week and was named the Jim Thorpe Award Defensive Back of the Week after the Colorado game.

Along with his seven interceptions, Thomas has also recovered one fumble to give him eight total take-aways on the year. That is the most of any one player in the FBS, one more than Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and two more than Mississippi State's Johnathan Banks and Darius Slay. Banks joined Thomas on the list of semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award.

Thomas has also forced three fumbles, recoded 7.0 tackles for a loss and three sacks. His 55 tackles are the third-most among all 15 semifinalists and he leads the group in tackles for a loss and sacks.

The three Thorpe Award finalists will be named on Monday, Nov. 19 and the winner will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 6, airing on ESPN. The winner of the 2012 Thorpe Award will be honored at a banquet in Oklahoma City on Feb. 5, 2013.

The Thorpe Award is named after history's greatest athlete, Jim Thorpe, and is 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.

2012 Thorpe Award Semifinalists
Name Cl. Team
Johnthan Banks Sr. Mississippi State
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu So. Oregon
Matt Elam Jr. Florida
Tony Jefferson Jr. Oklahoma
Nigel Malone Sr. Kansas State
Dexter McCoil Sr. Tulsa
T.J. McDonald Sr. USC
Dee Milliner Jr. Alabama
Zeke Motta Sr. Notre Dame
Jordan Poyer Sr. Oregon State
Eric Reid Jr. LSU
Xavier Rhodes Jr. Florida State
Bradley Roby So. Ohio State
Logan Ryan Jr. Rutgers
Phillip Thomas Sr. Fresno State