COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State senior cornerback Chimdi Chekwa is one of 10 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation’s best college defensive back.
A native of Clermont, Fla., Chekwa is tied for the Big Ten lead with three interceptions in 2010. He recorded two in the win over No. 12 Miami (FL) back in September when he also broke up two pass attempts and recorded six tackles, including one for a loss. He is coming off one of his best games of the season Saturday at Minnesota where he recorded an interception and had one sack that caused a fumble and led to a John Simon touchdown late in the game. On the season, Chekwa has 28 tackles (22 solo), 4.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, two forced fumbles, three picks and five pass break-ups.
The 2010 award marks the 25th presentation of the trophy, first won in 1986 by Baylor’s Thomas Everett. Ohio State’s Malcolm Jenkins, now playing for the New Orleans Saints, won the award in 2008 and Antoine Winfield, now playing with the Minnesota Vikings, won the award in 1998.
The candidates for the award are selected by a “screening committee” of 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 then narrows the field to three finalists and the names of these finalists are submitted to a national panel of about 50 sports writers, sportscasters, coaches and former players who vote to determine the winner.
The announcement of the Jim Thorpe Award winner will be featured on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards live on Thursday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The show, hosted by ESPN’s Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit will feature the live presentation of nine player awards, along with the recipients of Disney’s Spirit Award; The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award, the NCFAA (National College Football Awards Association) Contributions to College Football Award; and student-athletes selected to the Walter Camp All-America Team.
The Thorpe Award winner will be announced on the show and the official presentation will be at a formal banquet in Oklahoma City on February 7, 2011.
Fans can visit the show’s dedicated Web site at http://www.espncollegefootballawards.com to find the latest college football awards news, including show details, previous winners, fan voting, a photo gallery and video highlights.
The 2010 semi-finalists are:
Prince Amukamara, Sr., Nebraska
Tejay Johnson, Sr., TCU
Mark Barron, Jr., Alabama
Joe Lefeged, Sr., Rutgers
Chimdi Chekwa, Sr., Ohio State
Rahim Moore, Jr., UCLA
Brandon Harris, Jr., Miami (FL)
Patrick Peterson, Jr., LSU
Cliff Harris, Soph., Oregon
Tyler Sash, Jr., Iowa