Oklahoma City—The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced today 16 semifinalists for the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football.

The Thorpe Award is named after history’s greatest athlete, Jim Thorpe, and is presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and 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 three Thorpe Award finalists will be named on Monday, November 22nd and the winner will be announced at the live Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 8th airing on ESPN. The winner of the 2016 Thorpe Award will be honored at a banquet in Oklahoma City on February 7, 2017.

The 2016 Thorpe Award semifinalists represent eight conferences: BIG TEN (4), SEC (3), MW (2), PAC-12 (2), ACC (2), BIG-12 (1), IND (1), CUSA (1)

Jaire Alexander, Louisville, So.
Budda Baker, Washington, Jr.
Travon Blanchard, Baylor, Jr.
Justin Evans, Texas A&M, Sr.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama, So.
Malik Hooker, Ohio State, So.
Adoree’ Jackson, USC, Jr.
Desmond King, Iowa, Sr.                   
Jourdan Lewis, Michigan, Sr.
Kai Nacua, BYU, Sr.
Jabrill Peppers, Michigan, Jr.
Weston Steelhammer, Air Force, Sr.
Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson, Sr.
Tre’Davious White, LSU, Sr.
Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech, Sr.
Andrew Wingard, Wyoming, Sr.

The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast over 722 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.