Three Hogs Named to Jim Thorpe Award Watch Lis
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas’ secondary could be one of the top units in the country and the Jim Thorpe Association screening committee agrees after listing a national-high three Razorbacks on the preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the top defensive back in the country. Thirty-six players are on the list, led by Arkansas’ trio of junior free safety Ken Hamlin, junior cornerback Lawrence Richardson and sophomore cornerback Ahmad Carroll. Hamlin, listed as a preseason All-American and the No. 1 free safety in the nation by The Sporting News, was an honorable mention All-American last year when he led all SEC defensive backs with 118 tackles. He also had 10 pass deflections, four forced fumbles, three tackles for losses, three fumble recoveries and three interceptions. Richardson, listed as the seventh-best cornerback in the nation by Lindy’s Sports Annuals, led the SEC and was sixth in the nation with a school-record 20 pass deflections last year while also making 51 tackles with three interceptions. He also returned 18 kickoffs an average of 23.1 yards, including a 98-yard runback for a touchdown against Weber State. Carroll, listed as the fourth-best cornerback in the nation by Phil Steele’s College Football, was a third-team freshman All-American as selected by The Sporting News after recording 42 tackles and 13 pass deflections. “It is always an honor for our student-athletes to be recognized among the nation’s best,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “We are fortunate to be the only school in the country with three players on the list. That is a credit to those three individuals, their teammates and the countless others that have enabled them to succeed. Now, it’s time to get on the game field and make the most of our potential, both individually and as a team.”As a unit, Arkansas’ secondary is ranked No. 1 in the SEC by Athlon Sports and Lindy’s Sports Annuals, No. 2 in the nation by Phil Steele’s College Football, No. 3 nationally by Lindy’s, No. 4 by Athlon and No. 8 by The Sporting News. Carroll is the seventh different Razorback to be named to a preseason watch list. Hamlin and Richardson were previously named to the Football Writers Association of America preseason All-America watch list, along with tailback Fred Talley and offensive tackle Shawn Andrews. Hamlin is also on the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Year award list. Punter Richie Butler is on the Ray Guy Award list, linebacker Tony Bua is on the Butkus Award list, Andrews is also on the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy lists, and Talley is on the Doak Walker Award watch list. The Jim Thorpe Association screening committee will announce 10 semi-finalist in November and name three finalists Thanksgiving week. A national selection committee will choose the winner, which will be announced Dec. 12 at ESPN’s College Football Awards Show in Orlando, Fla. A former presentation of the award is scheduled for Feb. 11 in Oklahoma City. Following is the complete 2002 Jim Thorpe Award watch list:
Julian Battle, safety Tennessee
Curry Burns, safety Louisville
Ahmad Carroll, cornerback Arkansas
Elbert Craig, safety Oklahoma St.
Sammy Davis, cornerback Texas A&M
Mike Doss, safety Ohio St.
Rashad Faison, safety South Carolina
Anthony Floyd, safety Louisville
DeJuan Groce, cornerback Nebraska
DeAngelo Hall, cornerback Virginia Tech
Ken Hamlin, safety Arkansas
Terrace Holt, safety North Carolina St.
Marlin Jackson, cornerback Michigan
Todd Johnson, safety Florida
Cato June, safety Michigan
Ricky Manning, cornerback UCLA
Mitch Meeuwsen, safety Oregon St.
Quentin Mikell, safety Boise St.
Christian Morton, cornerback Illinois
Jeremy Muyres, safety Georgia Tech
Terrence Newman, cornerback Kansas St.
Troy Polamalu, safety USC
Dexter Reid, safety North Carolina
Lawrence Richardson, cornerback Arkansas
Gerome Sapp, safety Notre Dame
Stuart Schweigert, safety Purdue
Bryan Scott, cornerback Penn St.
Derrick Strait, cornerback Oklahoma
Donald Strickland, cornerback Colorado
Nathan Vashar, cornerback Texas
Michael Waddell, cornerback North Carolina
Matt Ware, safety UCLA
Dennis Weathersby, cornerback Oregon St.
Ronyell Whitaker, cornerback Virginia Tech
Eugene Wilson, cornerback Illinois
Andre Woolfolk, cornerback Oklahoma
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