Elliott named Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Texas junior defensive back DeShon Elliott was named a semifinalist for the 2017 Jim Thorpe Award, announced on Monday morning. The Thorpe Award has a long history with The University of Texas, as both Michael Huff (2005) and Aaron Ross (2006) won the award. Additionally, Quentin Jammer (2001) and Earl Thomas (2009) have been finalists for the prestigious award.

Elliott is having a standout year for the Longhorns, having started all seven games. He has already been recognized by the Jim Thorpe Award as its National Player of the Week following his performance at Iowa State. Elliott also earned the Big 12 Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week honors following both the games against USC and Iowa State.

Starting with the game at USC, Elliott had a dominant three-game stretch. Against the Trojans, he totaled seven tackles, two interceptions, two pass breakups and a tackle for loss. The next time out, Elliott followed that performance up with six tackles, a sack and two more interceptions against Iowa State. The following week, he had six tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one-half sack and one interception against Kansas State.

That three-game stretch, one in which Elliott recorded five interceptions which stands as the best mark in the nation through eight weeks of the 2017 season, was a historic one in the UT record books. Elliott became the first UT player dating back to 1947 to record back-to-back games with two interceptions (at USC, at Iowa State). He became just the ninth UT player since 1947 to register two multi-interception games in a season, and joins Chris Carter (1993-96) as the only two players in school history with three multi-interception games in their careers. He also had two interceptions against Kansas in 2015.

Elliott became the first Longhorn since Earl Thomas, a 2009 Thorpe Award finalist, to register an interception in three straight games. Much like Elliott, who had five interceptions in three games, Thomas’ dominant stretch in 2009 included five interceptions in a stretch where he had at least one in four consecutive games.

On the season, Elliott has totaled 32 tackles (21 solo). He leads the nation, Big 12 and team with five interceptions. He has added four tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and also recovered a fumble in last Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State.

The award is presented to the best defensive back in college football based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character. Established in 1986 and named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe, the award will be presented at The Home Depot College Football Awards in Atlanta on Thursday, Dec. 7.

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Source: Daily Texas Online

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