UVA strong safety Anthony Harris was named to the 2014 preseason Jim Thorpe Award Watch List, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced Friday. The Jim Thorpe Award is given annually to the nation’s best defensive back.
Harris (Sr., Chesterfield, Va.) is a preseason All-American after winning All-America honors in 2013 from Sports Illustrated (first) and Walter Camp (second). Harris was named to the preseason Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List on Thursday and the preseason Bednarik Award Watch List on Monday. Harris led the nation with eight interceptions and set a UVa record with at least one interception in five straight games. CFPA listed Harris on its preseason 42-man watch list for its defensive back of the year.
The award was established in 1986 and is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
A screening committee who compile a list of 30-50 players chooses the Jim Thorpe Award Watch List. The list is not final, and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses. The Thorpe Award Winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 on ESPN.
The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football.