On Monday, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced the 16 semifinalists for the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award, which honors the nation’s top defensive back in college football. University of Wyoming sophomore free safety Andrew Wingard was one of only 16 players selected from across the nation.
Wingard is currently leading the Mountain West Conference and is ranked No. 8 in the nation in tackles, averaging 10.7 per game. He also leads the Mountain West and ranks No. 10 in the nation in solo tackles (6.1 per game).
The Jim Thorpe Award has been presented annually since 1986 to college football’s best defensive back by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. It was established to honor history’s greatest all-around athlete, the legendary Jim Thorpe who was an outstanding football player, professional baseball player and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
The three Thorpe Award finalists will be named on Monday, Nov. 22 and the winner will be announced at the live Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 8 airing on ESPN. The winner of the 2016 Thorpe Award will be honored at a banquet in Oklahoma City on Feb. 7, 2017.
The 2016 Thorpe Award semifinalists represent eight conferences: Big Ten (4), SEC (3), Mountain West (2), PAC-12 (2), ACC (2), Big 12 (1), Independent (1) and Conference USA (1).
2016 Thorpe Award Semifinalists
Andrew Wingard, Wyoming, So.
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.
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.