Oct. 31, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama duo of senior Mark Barron and junior Dre Kirkpatrick were named two of the 15 semifinalists for the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award, the organization announced Monday. The award is given annually to the top defensive back in college football.
The semifinalist selection marks the second year in a row that Barron has been recognized. The Mobile, Ala., native leads a Crimson Tide defense that ranks atop the country in nearly every category. Alabama enters the week leading the nation in rushing defense (44.8 ypg), pass efficiency defense (83.63), total defense (180.5 ypg), scoring defense (6.9 ppg) and ranks second in pass defense (135.6 ypg).
Barron ranks second on the team with 40 tackles, pacing the squad with 27 solo stops. The 6-2 safety has added 3.5 tackles for a loss, one interception, broken up five passes and recovered a fumble.
Kirkpatrick has etched his name as one of the more physical cover corners in the country, tallying 19 tackles with 18 unassisted. The native of Gadsden, Ala., has added two tackles for a loss, broken up eight passes and forced two fumbles.
The Thorpe Award, one of the most coveted awards in college football is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2011. This Award, established in 1986, is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back.
Alabama will meet No. 1 LSU this Saturday, Nov. 5, in a showdown of the top two teams in the country. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., at Bryant-Denny Stadium and will be shown nationally on CBS.
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