Harris a Thorpe Semifinalist

Oklahoma City, Okla. – Sophomore defensive back Brandon Harris has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's best college defensive back.

Harris is tied for second nationally for both passes broken up (11) and total passes defended (12) while leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in both categories. He also ranks third on the team with 42 tackles and has one interception.

This list will be narrowed again on November 23, to three finalists who will be invited to the nationally telecast Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on December 10. The winner will be announced on the show and the official presentation will be at a formal banquet in Oklahoma City on February 9, 2010.

The 2009 award marks the 24th presentation of the trophy, first won in 1986 by Baylor's Thomas Everett. Last year's winner was Ohio State University's Malcolm Jenkins, now playing for the New Orleans Saints.

Jim Thorpe Award winners are selected for performance on the field, athletic ability and character.

The 2009 semifinalists are:

Javier Arenas, Sr., Alabama
Eric Berry, Jr., Tennessee
Barry Church, Sr., Toledo
Perrish Cox, Sr., Oklahoma State
Joe Haden, Jr., Florida
Brandon Harris, So., Miami (FL)
Taylor Mays, Sr., USC
Tyler Sash, So., Iowa
Darrell Stuckey, Sr., Kansas
Earl Thomas, So., Texas
Alterraun Verner, Sr., UCLA
Kyle Wilson, Sr., Boise State

The Screening Committee was allowed only 12 candidates on the semifinalist list, but determined five additional outstanding players deserved recognition and were given honorable mention status. They are Kam Chancellor, Sr., Virginia Tech; Ras-I Dowling, Jr., Virginia; Brian Jackson, Sr., Oklahoma; Rahim Moore, So., UCLA; and DeAndre McDaniel, Jr., Clemson

The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the 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, www.NCFAA.org.

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