Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright (1) pulls down a pass over Kansas State cornerback Ty Zimmerman (12) during the first half of a NCAA football game, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, in Waco Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Rod Aydelotte)
Kansas State senior defensive back Ty Zimmerman was one of 48 players nationally – including eight from the Big 12 – to be named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association announced Friday.
Zimmerman’s inclusion on the list, the first of his career, marks the 10th time a Wildcat has been in the running for the award. Most recently, cornerback Nigel Malone was a semifinalist in 2011 and 2012. In addition, Zimmerman is the first Wildcat safety to be a candidate for the award since Jarrod Cooper in 2000.
Zimmerman is now a candidate for four awards as he was named to the watch lists for the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy earlier this week as well as the Lott IMPACT Trophy in May.
As a junior in 2012, Zimmerman carded 50 tackles, including three for a loss, to go along with a team-high tying five interceptions. His five picks – four of which came in consecutive games – tied for 10th nationally and were all during Big 12 play to lead the conference. The Junction City, Kan., product enters the 2013 season in a tie for seventh place in K-State history with 10 interceptions, while his 146 career interception return yards rank eighth.
The Jim Thorpe Award was established in 1986 and is named after Jim Thorpe, who 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 performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
Semifinalists for the award will be selected on October 28, while three finalists will be announced on November 25. The winner of the 2013 Jim Thorpe Award will be announced December 12 as part of The Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards Show.
K-State takes on North Dakota State on Friday, August 30, to open the 2013 campaign and the new West Stadium Center in a 7:30 p.m., contest that will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 1.