Buckeye senior voted best defensive back in the nation

Buckeyes’ Jenkins takes home Jim Thorpe Award

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Ohio State defensive back Malcolm Jenkins was selected as the recipient of the 2008 Jim Thorpe Award, given each year to the nation’s top defensive back.

Antoine Winfield was the only other Buckeyes defensive back to take home the award in 1998. 

Jenkins cemented his status in Buckeyes lore with his third straight selection to the All-Big Ten team after a season that saw him collect three interceptions. Ohio State (10-2) will square off against Texas in the Fiesta Bowl as part of the Bowl Championship Series. 

The other finalists were USC’s Taylor Mays and Tennessee’s Eric Berry. Berry was named the 2008 SEC defensive player of the year after a seven-interception campaign, while Mays ended with a team-best eight passes defended and registered 49 total tackles for the Pac-10 champion Trojans (11-1), who will face Big Ten title holder Penn State in the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2009.  


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Dec. 11, 2008)   Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow were among the award recipients who were honored at The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Thursday night on ESPN, from the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Bradford, a sophomore from Oklahoma City, Okla., received the Davey O’Brien Award for best quarterback.  Tebow, a junior from Jacksonville, Fla., captured his second Maxwell Award for the best all-around player, and the Disney Spirit Award (most inspirational story).  

Other winners included: Rey Maualuga, USC, Chuck Bednarik Award (best defensive player); Michael Crabtree, Biletnikoff Award (best receiver); Graham Gano, Florida State, Lou Groza Award (best kicker); Matt Fodge, Oklahoma State, Ray Guy Award (best punter); Andre Smith, Alabama, Outland Trophy (best interior lineman); Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State, Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back); Shonn Greene, Iowa, Doak Walker Award (best running back); Nick Saban, Alabama, The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award; and Bobby Bowden, Florida State head coach, NCFAA Contributions to College Football Award. 

Comments from Ohio State’s Malcolm Jenkins, who was announced tonight as the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award:

“Well, when they announced the award winner, first I was surprised and then a sigh of relief. It’s really nerve-wracking to sit there through the whole show because our award was one of the last ones announced. And those were not just two fantastic players who were the other finalists, but really nice guys as well.

“It’s just an incredible honor, because of guys like Antoine Winfield who have won this award in the past, and also because of Jim Thorpe, who was one of a kind and a pioneer in history. I work every day to improve as a player and when I came back for my senior season, the chance to be a part of an award like this was one of the dreams I had. Thanks to my coaches and teammates, I have been blessed to get that opportunity. I take pride in my work as a football player and this is truly an honor.

“This whole award trip has been an excellent experience, to visit with so many of the other great players and to be able to share this with my parents and my high school coach who came down to be with me. And thanks to everybody who is trying to congratulate me I got so many texts on my phone during the show that I had to start deleting pictures and stuff so I would have room for the texts.”

Jenkins on Big Ten Network earlier this week …

The Walter Camp All-America Team, which honors the nation’s best college football players, was also announced on the show.  Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was recognized as the Walter Camp Player of the Year.  

The following five award winners were also acknowledged: Brian Orakpo, Texas, Rotary Lombardi Award (outstanding lineman); Chase Coffman, Missouri, John Mackey Award (best tight end); Brian Orakpo, Texas, Bronko Nagurski Trophy (outstanding defensive player); A.Q. Shipley, Penn State, Rimington Trophy (outstanding center); and Kevin Wilson, Oklahoma, Frank Broyles Award (top assistant coach).  


Chuck Bednarik Award (best defensive player)

James Laurinaitis, Ohio State

Aaron Maybin, Penn State
 Biletnikoff Award (best receiver)

Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State

*Michael Crabtree,Texas Tech-AWARD RECIPIENT

Jeremy Maclin, Missouri
Lou Groza Award (best kicker)

Josh Arauco, Arkansas State

Graham Gano, Florida State – AWARD RECIPIENT

Louie Sakoda, Utah
 Ray Guy Award (best punter)
Matt Fodge, Oklahoma State- AWARD RECIPIENT

Pat McAfee, West Virginia

Louie Sakoda, Utah
Maxwell Award (best all-around player) 

Graham Harrell, Texas Tech

Colt McCoy, Texas

*Tim Tebow, Florida – AWARD RECIPIENT
 Davey O’Brien Award (best quarterback)

Sam Bradford, Oklahoma – AWARD RECIPIENT

Graham Harrell, Texas Tech

Colt McCoy, Texas
Outland Trophy (best interior lineman)

Michael Oher, Ole Miss

Duke Robinson, Oklahoma

Andre Smith, Alabama – AWARD RECIPIENT
 Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back)

Eric Berry, Tennessee

Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State AWARD RECIPIENT

Taylor Mays, USC
Doak Walker Award (best running back)

Shonn Greene, Iowa – AWARD RECIPIENT

Knowshon Moreno, Georgia

Javon Ringer, Michigan State
*2007 award winner

The Walter Camp All-America Team

Walter Camp Player of the Year: Colt McCoy, Texas

(Offensive Team)
 Colt McCoy
Wide Receiver
 Michael Crabtree
 Texas Tech
Wide Receiver
 Dez Bryant
 Oklahoma State
Tight End
 Chase Coffman
Offensive Lineman
 Michael Oher
Offensive Lineman
 Andre Smith
Offensive Lineman
 Duke Robinson
Offensive Lineman
 Rylan Reed
 Texas Tech
 A.Q. Shipley
 Penn State
Running Back
 Shonn Greene
Running Back
 Javon Ringer
 Michigan State
 Louie Sakoda

(Defensive Team)
Defensive Lineman
 Brian Orakpo
Defensive Lineman
 Aaron Maybin
 Penn State
Defensive Lineman
 Jerry Hughes
Defensive Lineman
 Nick Reed
 Rey Maualuga
 James Laurinaitis
 Ohio State
 Brandon Spikes
Defensive Back
 Malcolm Jenkins
 Ohio State
Defensive Back
 Alphonso Smith
 Wake Forest
Defensive Back
 Eric Berry
Defensive Back
 Taylor Mays
 T.J. Conley
Punt Return
 Jeremy Maclin
The following list of award recipients also received recognition during the program:

Rotary Lombardi Award (outstanding lineman)

Brian Orakpo, Texas
 John Mackey Award (best tight end)

Chase Coffman, Missouri
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (outstanding defensive player)

Brian Orakpo, Texas
 Rimington Trophy (outstanding center)

A.Q. Shipley, Penn State
Frank Broyles Award (top assistant coach)

Kevin Wilson, Oklahoma                                                                                                                 

National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA)

The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official Web site, at