The University of Alabama was represented in one of the first preseason award watch lists, as senior defensive back Simeon Castille was included on the 2007 Jim Thorpe Award watch list, as released by the Jim Thorpe Association today.
Castille, a first team All-Southeastern Conference performer a season ago, led the Tide in interceptions with six in 2006. He also recovered a team-high three fumbles last year.
“I am honored to be included on this list, which includes some of the finest defensive players in the nation,” Castille said. “I am excited to open practice and get ready with my teammates for the upcoming season.”
The Thorpe Award, presented annually to the nation’s best college defensive back, is one of college football’s most sought after and prestigious awards. It is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, a man who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense, but also starred as a defensive back. Recognized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame simply as “The Legend”, Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
The watch list is narrowed to 10 semi-finalists the first Monday in November and then to three finalists the Monday before Thanksgiving. The winner is announced on ESPN’s College Football Awards Show, nationally telecast on December 6. The official presentation of the award will be in Oklahoma City on February 12.
LEADING PRE-SEASON CANDIDATES FOR 2007 JIM THORPE AWARD
Jamar Adams Sr. Michigan
Josh Barrett Sr. Arizona State
Zackary Bowman Sr. Nebraska
Tony Carter Jr. Florida State
Antoine Cason Sr. Arizona
Simeon Castille Sr. Alabama
Quintin Demps Sr. UTEP
Brandon Flowers Jr. Virginia Tech
Courtney Greene Jr. Rutgers
Michael Hamlin Jr. Clemson
Nic Harris Jr. Oklahoma
Victor Harris Jr Virginia Tech
Jonathan Hefney Sr. Tennessee
Chris Horton Sr. UCLA
Malcolm Jenkins Jr. Ohio State
Tyrell Johnson Sr. Arkansas State
Dennis Keyes Sr. UCLA
Justin King Jr. Penn State
Jamal Lewis Sr. Georgia Tech
Dwight Lowery Sr. San Jose State
Taylor Mays So. USC
Mike Mickens Jr. Cincinnati
Paul Oliver Sr. Georgia
Derek Pegues Jr. Mississippi State
Kenny Phillips Jr. Miami FL
Myron Rolle So. Florida State
Reggie Smith Jr. Oklahoma
Marty Tadman Sr. Boise State
Aqib Talib Jr. Kansas
Terrell Thomas Sr. USC
DeJuan Tribble Sr. Boston College
Eric Wicks Sr. West Virginia
Terrence Wheatley Sr. Colorado
Trae Williams Sr. South Florida
Tom Zbikowski Sr. Notre Dame
The Jim Thorpe Award “watch list” is determined by analysis of the pre-season All-American teams listed in at least six pre-season college football annual magazines. Four points are awarded for First Team, three points for second team, two points for third and one point for fourth teams and honorable mentions. This procedure determines approximately 40 players on the pre-season watch list. This list is not final and players whose performances merit recognition may be added as the season progresses.
A “Screening Committee” of Jim Thorpe Association members follows the players throughout the season, watching games and researching information sources to grade Thorpe Award candidates on the basis of performance on the field, athletic ability and character.
After cutting the list to three individuals, the names of the finalists are submitted to a national panel of about 50 sports writers, sportscasters, coaches and former players who vote to determine the winner.
The Crimson Tide opens its season on Sept. 1 with a home game against Western Carolina.