PAYCOM JIM THORPE AWARD
2013 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Winner Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State University
Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State has been named the 2013 Thorpe Award Winner, given to the top defensive back in college football. Dennard was named the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the second year in a row. The 5-foot-11, 197-pound Dennard leads the Spartans in passes defended (14), pass break-ups (10) and interceptions (4). He ranks fourth on the team in tackles (5) and fifth in production points (189). Dennard has been credited with 2.5 tackles for losses (6 yards) and ranks among the Big Ten leaders in interceptions (tied for third) and passes defended (tied for seventh at 1.08 per game).
He helps anchor a defensive unit that ranks among the NCAA FBS Top 10 in seven different stat categories: rushing defense (first at 80.8 yards per game), total defense (first at 248.2 ypg.), opponent third-down conversions (.277; 53-for-191), passing efficiency defense (second with 91.5 rating), scoring defense (fourth at 12.7 points per game), turnover margin (seventh at +1.1 per game) and passing defense (sixth at 167.4 ypg.). The Spartans have been ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense for 13 consecutive weeks.