Six secondary standouts from football’s work that was:
Juan Thornill, SS, Virginia (NCAA) — It’s possible Virginia senior safety Juan Thornhill hits so hard that some people forget he’s a defensive back and not a linebacker.
Going into this season, Thornhill landed on watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski awards — both given to the national defensive player of the year — but he didn’t make the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top DB.
When the Cavaliers upset 16th-ranked Miami (Fla.) on Saturday, Thornhill’s biggest hit may have been on the referee that he ran over during a 62-yard interception return that got the Cavaliers inside the 10-yard line. Continue reading
While one part-time defensive back will sit among the finalists for college football’s Heisman Trophy on Saturday and find out where he finishes in the voting, one full-time defensive back who does spot duty in other areas claimed what is usually the biggest prize available to DBs on the NCAA level.
USC junior cornerback Adoree Jackson won the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back, at Thursday’s College Football Awards show.
Jackson beat out fellow finalists Tre’Davious White of LSU and Jourdan Lewis of Michigan, both senior cornerbacks. Continue reading
Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:
Trumaine Johnson, CB, Rams (NFL): Attaching himself to Calvin Johnson on Sunday and limiting the Lions’ superstar receiver to just one catch for 16 yards probably would’ve been enough to get Trumaine Johnson on this list. But throw in his 58-yard interception return for a touchdown, and that made it an easy decision. Also impressive is that Johnson, who added five tackles in the 21-14 victory, isn’t even considered the Rams’ top cornerback; he stepped up to the task of guarding “Megatron” while No. 1 CB Janoris Jenkins was out with an injury.
Kurt Coleman, SS, Panthers (NFL): With QB/MVP Cam Newton headlining the offense and LB Luke Kuechly spearheading the defense, Coleman is one of the overlooked contributors who is a big part of Carolina’s 13-0 start. In Sunday’s 38-0 domination of the Falcons, Coleman intercepted his seventh pass of the season — tying him for the NFL lead with Bengals safety Reggie Nelson — and made a team-high nine tackles. Continue reading
College football’s awards season will culminate with Saturday’s presentation of the Heisman Trophy which, as usual, will go to a quarterback (Clemson’s Deshaun Watson) or a running back (Alabama’s Derrick Henry; Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey).
In the days leading up to that ceremony, however, defensive backs across the country are getting their share of accolades.
Iowa junior cornerback Desmond King claimed the biggest prize, winning the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. King recorded 67 tackles, 12 pass breakups and eight interceptions this season for the Hawkeyes, who were undefeated before losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game. Iowa will play Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Continue reading
Six secondary standouts from the football weekend:
Desmond King, CB, Iowa (NCAA): As a unit, the Hawkeyes’ defense thwarted 19th-ranked Wisconsin in a 10-6 upset victory on Saturday, Iowa’s first win over a ranked opponent in 10 tries. As an individual, the junior King was the standout with nine tackles, two interceptions and two pass breakups.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, Rams (NFL): Odell Beckham Jr. almost recreated his famous one-handed catch in the Giants’ win over the Bills on Sunday, but he landed out of bounds. Which means the best catch of the NFL’s Week 4 that counted was Jenkins’ end-zone interception of Arizona QB Carson Palmer in which he trapped the ball against the back of his helmet — similar to David Tyree’s famous Super Bowl snag. Jenkins added five tackles and two pass breakups in the Rams’ 24-22 victory, handing the high-powered Cards their first loss of the season. Continue reading