Fresno State's Thomas Selected as Finalist for Jim Thorpe Award

Nov. 19, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The Jim Thorpe Association announced Monday that Fresno State senior safety Phillip Thomas has been selected as one of three finalists for the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award given to the top defensive back in college football.

Thomas along with Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks and Alabama's Dee Milliner - the other two finalists for the award - will be highlighted on ESPNU during The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special airing Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. (PT). The 30-minute show, hosted by Matt Schick, will include player interviews and analysis from Kevin Carter surrounding finalists for the Thorpe Award and other members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA).

"It's really exciting. I never dreamed of this really happening this year," Thomas said. "I'm really excited that people have noticed the way I've played this year and just getting the recognition for what I've been doing on the field."

Thomas leads the nation with eight interceptions, which is two more than any other player has and more than 35 FBS teams have on the season. He is also tied for the national lead with three pick-sixes and nine total take-aways (eight interceptions and one fumble recovery).

He leads Fresno State with 73 tackles this year and has forced three fumbles, posted three sacks and recorded four pass breakups. His 10.5 tackles for a loss leads the team and has him tied for the fourth-most in the Mountain West.

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. 6 at 4:30 p.m. (PT).

The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Okla. at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

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,