Tide's Mark Barron Thorpe Semifinalist

Mark Barron

Alabama junior safety Mark Barron was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award on Tuesday. Barron is one of two players from the Southeastern Conference among the semifinalists for the prestigious award, given annually to the nation's best college defensive back.



"It's an honor to be chosen as a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe award," Alabama safety Mark Barron said. "Being selected is really a credit to my teammates and the coaching staff. Coach Saban, Coach Smart and Coach Pruitt do a great job of getting our defense ready each and every day in practice. We know that if our team executes the way we should, everything else should fall into place."

Candidates for the award are selected by a screening committee of the Jim Thorpe Association members who follow several players throughout the season, watching games and researching information sources to grade Thorpe Award candidates on the basis of performance on the field, athletic ability and character.

The committee will narrow the field to three finalists, whose names will then be submitted to a national panel of roughly 50 sports writers, sportscasters, coaches and former players who vote to determine the winner. The announcement of the Jim Thorpe award will be featured on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards live on Thursday, December 9, at 6 p.m. (CT) on ESPN.

The Jim Thorpe Award is one of college football's most sought after and prestigious awards. It is named after one of the greatest all-around athletes in the history of sport, a man who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense, but also was an excellent defensive back. Recognized in the Pro Football Hall of fame simply as "The Legend", Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.

Antonio Langham (1993) is the only Crimson Tide player to have ever captured the Thorpe Award. Javier Arenas is the most recent Tide player to be selected as a semifinalist (2009). The 2010 award marks the 25th presentation of the trophy, first won in 1986 by Baylor's Thomas Everett. Last year's winner was Tennessee's Eric Berry, now playing alongside Arenas for the Kansas City Chiefs.

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