Two Sooners Make Thorpe Award Watch List

NORMAN, Okla. -- Given the expectations, which are through the roof for the upcoming season, it's no surprise that with yet another preseason award watch list being released, two more Sooners are mentioned.

The latest was today's Jim Thorpe Award, an Oklahoma City award presented to the best defensive back in college football, which has OU's Jamell Fleming and Tony Jefferson as a couple of the 37 listed to watch.

Fleming, a 5-foot-11, 191-pound corner, led the country with 14 passes broken up in 2010.

He also led the team with five interceptions for 59 yards, as well as racking up 71 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss.

Jefferson was a big contributor as well, finishing with a pair of interceptions, seven PBU's and a fumble recovery to go along with 65 tackles, including seven for loss.

Fleming and Jefferson will each attempt to become the third Sooner to win the Thorpe Award, as Roy Williams and Derrick Strait earned the honor back in 2001 and 2003, respectively.

As for the award, it is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe, who excelled on both sides of the ball as a running back, passer and kicker offensively, but also as a defensive back.

Thorpe even played professional baseball and won Olympic golds in the decathlon and pentathlon, so the award truly honors a great athlete.

The winner will be selected from a trio of finalists at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 8, 2011, and the anniversary banquet will take place Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 in Oklahoma City.

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