LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas cornerback Aqib Talib was named as one of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award it was announced late Tuesday. The award is given annually to college football’s top defensive back.
Talib, who led the nation in passes defended with 28 and tied for the Big 12 lead with six interceptions a year ago, has been very active on the field again this season.
The 6-2, 205-pound junior from Richardson, Texas, enters this week’s game at Oklahoma State ranked 10th in the country in passes defended at 1.44 per game and tied for 74th in interceptions at 0.33 per contest.
Through nine games Talib has made 39 tackles to rank fifth on the team. He has three interceptions, including a 100-yard return for a score against Florida International, as well as 10 pass break-ups.
Talib has also seen limited time as a wide receiver and has pulled in eight receptions for 182 yards (22.8 average) and four touchdowns. Earlier this season, he had a stretch with a touchdown in five straight games with four receptions and the interception return for scores.
Talib has been a part of the Kansas defense, which ranks seventh in the country in total defense as well as second in scoring defense, sixth in rushing defense and 46th in passing defense.
The Jayhawks are 9-0 and ranked fourth in this week’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS) poll.
On November 19, the Thorpe list will be narrowed to three finalists, who will be invited to the nationally-telecast Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on December 6. The winner will be announced on the show and the official presentation will be at a formal banquet in Oklahoma City on February 12, 2007.
Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalists
Trey Brown, Sr., UCLA
Antoine Cason, Sr., Arizona
Vontae Davis, So., Illinois
Malcolm Jenkins, Jr., Ohio State
Mike Jenkins, Jr., South Florida
Kenny Phillips, Jr., Miami
James Silva, Sr., Boston College
Reggie Smith, Jr., Oklahoma
Craig Steltz, Sr., LSU
Julius Stinson, Sr., Wyoming
Aqib Talib, Sr., Kansas
Tom Zbikowski, Sr., Notre Dame