2007 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Winner Antoine Cason, University of Arizona
Antoine Cason was born in Long Beach, California, and attended Los Alamitos High School in Los Alamitos, California, where he excelled on the football field. Following high school, Cason attended the University of Arizona. He was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2004, and in 2005, he earned Second Team All-Pac-10 honors. In 2006, Cason was a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. After the 2006 season, Cason was eligible for the 2007 NFL Draft. However, he decided to return for his senior season to finish his college degree. Cason continued his stellar play into his 2007 senior season, and finished the season with 5 interceptions, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns. He also returned 2 punts for touchdowns. On December 6, 2007, he was awarded the Jim Thorpe Award for best defensive back in the country and was a consensus First-Team All-America choice. In the spring of 2007, Cason earned All-American honors in Track and Field for his contribution to the Men's 4 x 100 meters relay team, which finished in the top eight at the NCAA Championship.
Cason was selected in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He played in all 16 regular season games and both playoff games at cornerback and on special teams as a rookie. He ended his rookie season with 74 tackles, 59 solo and two interceptions. He continued to fill the starting corner back role for the Chargers from 2009-2011.
PAYCOM JIM THORPE AWARD