Th semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award were unveiled on Monday, and it goes to show how good the defensive secondaries are for Alabama and Penn State. The Crimson Tide and Nittany Lions were the only schools with two semifinalists out of the 13 total players to be announced as semifinalists for the award for the nation’s top defensive back.
Alabama is represented by Minkah Fitzpatrick and Levi Wallace. Alabama has one Jim Thorpe Award winner in the history of the award (first awarded in 1986), with Antonio Langham winning the award in 1993. Penn State is looking for the first Jim Thorpe Award winner in school history. Marcus Allen and Grant Haley have been named semifinalists for the award this year, giving Penn State a chance to have a player win the award.
Other notable players named as a semifinalist include Florida State’s Derwin James and Duke’s Jeremy McDuffie and Ohio State’s Denzel Ward. The Big Ten, SEC, and ACC all have three semifinalists. The winner of the award will be announced during the annual Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 7 on ESPN.
2017 Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalists
Marcus Allen, Penn State
Quin Blanding, Virginia
Jalen Davis, Utah State
DeShon Elliott, Texas
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Grant Haley, Penn State
Derwin James, Florida State
Jeremy McDuffie, Duke
Parry Nickerson, Tulane
Justin Reid, Stanford
Dominick Sanders, Georgia
Levi Wallace, Alabama
Denzel Ward, Ohio State
Jordan Scarlett‘s late second quarter touchdown gave Florida a 14-10 lead on SEC East rival Georgia. That’s where things stand at halftime in Jacksonville in a pivotal SEC East Division game (made even more critical following Kentucky’s win at Missouri earlier this afternoon).
Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio got the game off to an ugly start for the Gators with a poorly thrown ball against his body to the middle of the field for an early turnover. Georgia’s Dominick Sanders came up with the easy interception and returned it 31 yards to the Florida 25-yard line. Florida’s defense answered the early call by holding Georgia to a short field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship.
Florida took the lead late in the first quarter when C'yontai Lewis got his hands on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Del Rio, making up for his earlier error. The 7-3 lead did not last long, as Georgia answered with a touchdown of their own on the ensuing possession. Riley Ridley caught a 14-yard pass from Jacob Eason to put the Bulldogs up 10-7 early in the second quarter.
If Georgia wins, Kentucky will own sole possession of first place in the SEC East with just two SEC games left to play for the Wildcats. Kentucky gets Georgia at home next week, followed by a road game at Tennessee. Florida owns a head-to-head win against Georgia from earlier in the year.
File this one under stories Georgia head coach Mark Richt would least like to have to worry about the week his Bulldogs host Alabama. Five Georgia football players have been named in an incident report filed by the Athens-Clarke County Police from Monday night. Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie is accuised of making “terroristic threats or acts” to a female. Safety Dominick Sanders and Jarvis Wilson, linebacker D’Andre Walker and wide receiver Terry Godwin are also all named as witnesses to the incident in question. No charges have been filed at this time, and the investigation is still ongoing.
The reported incident, according to Georgia student newspaper The Red & Black‘s original report, took place Monday night in a Chilli’s restaurant. Per the police report, McKenzie allegedly made a death threat to the unidentified woman. The incident allegedly happened around 10:40 p.m. on Monday.
McKenzie is third on Georgia’s team in receiving with 89 yards on five receptions in four games this season. Godwin is fourth with 76 yards on seven receptions. Sanders is fourth on Georgia’s defense in tackles and Walker has half a sack this season. At this time no suspensions have been announced and Richt has not commente don the situation publicly. There is no indication at this time if any player besides McKenzie is connected to making any threats other than simply being a witness to the alleged incident.