Peterson Named Thorpe, Bednarik Finalist
Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications
BATON ROUGE - LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson added his name to the list of finalist for two more national awards on Monday as the junior was named as one of three finalists for both the Thorpe Award and the Bednarik Award.
The Thorpe Award is presented annually to the top defensive back in college football. It is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe, a man who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense, but also was a standout 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 Bednarik Award, which is given to the outstanding defensive player in college football, is named after Chuck Bednarik, a two-way player for the Philadelphia Eagles for 14 years.
Peterson is joined on the Thorpe Award list by Prince Amukamara of Nebraska and Tejay and Johnson of TCU. He's joined on the Bednarik list of finalist by Nick Fairley of Auburn and Da'Quan Bowers of Clemson.
Peterson, considered by many to be the top defensive back in college football, has been one of the leaders of an LSU defense that leads the SEC in total yards (286.9) and passing defense (151.8) and ranks second in points allowed (16.5). The Tigers rank in the top 10 in the nation in all three categories.
Peterson, a native of Pompano Beach, Fla., has 33 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and four interceptions to his credit. Peterson has also broken up five passes and blocked a field. For his career, Peterson has 126 tackles, 21 pass breakups and seven interceptions to his credit.
He's also scored three different ways during his career - punt return, interception return and return of a blocked field goal.
In addition to his standout play as a defensive back, Peterson has excelled as a return specialist for the Tigers this year as he leads the Southeastern Conference in kickoff returns with a 27.56 average and he's second in the league in punt returns with a 16.7 average. Earlier this year, Peterson set an LSU record with 257 combined return yards, including an 87-yard punt return for a TD, in the season-opening win over North Carolina.
Last week, Peterson was named as one of four finalists for the Nagurski Trophy, which goes to the top defensive player in college football as selected by the Football Writers Association.
The winner of both the Thorpe and Bednarik Awards will be announced on the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday, Dec. 9 in Orlando.
Peterson will look to become LSU's first national award winner since 2007 when defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey won four national awards - Outland, Lombardi, Nagurski, and Lott - on his way to leading the Tigers to the national title that year.