College football: Finalists named for Oklahoma City-based Jim Thorpe Award

JIM THORPE AWARD — Fresno State's Phillip Thomas, Alabama's Dee Milliner and Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks named finalists for Thorpe Award.
BY ANTHONY SLATER, Staff Writer, aslater@opubco.com Published: November 19, 2012
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photo - Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson (25) breaks a tackle from Fresno State's Phillip Thomas (16) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Reno, Nev., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison) ORG XMIT: NVCA104
Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson (25) breaks a tackle from Fresno State's Phillip Thomas (16) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Reno, Nev., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison) ORG XMIT: NVCA104

And that's landed the talented safety on this postseason finalist list, with Phillips trying to become the first non-BCS conference defensive back since 1995 (and only the second ever) to win the Jim Thorpe Award.

JIM THORPE FINALISTS

Johnthan Banks

School: Mississippi State

Class: Senior

Notable stats: Four interceptions and 56 tackles

Interesting tidbit: His 16 career interceptions are third in FBS and 320 career interception return yards are most among active players

— — — — — —

Dee Milliner

School: Alabama

Class: Junior

Notable stats: Two interceptions, 14 pass breakups (leads SEC) and 44 tackles

Interesting tidbit: He is considered a first-round lock in the NFL Draft, whenever he decides to come out.

— — — — — —

Phillip Thomas

School: Fresno State

Class: Senior

Notable stats: Eight interceptions (leads nation), 73 tackles and three sacks

Interesting tidbit: His eight interceptions are more than 35 bowl subdivision teams have as a whole.

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