Claiborne Named Thorpe Award Finalist
Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications
BATON ROUGE - LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne made the cut for a third national award on Monday as the junior has been named one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, the Jim Thorpe Association announced.
Claiborne is joined on the list of Thorpe Award finalists by Mark Barron of Alabama and David Amerson of North Carolina State.
The Thorpe Award is presented annually to the top defensive back in college football. Last year, LSU's Patrick Peterson's claimed the Thorpe Award on his way to becoming one of the most decorated defenders in school history.
Last week, Claiborne was selected as one of five finalists for the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded to the National Defensive Player of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
He's also one of 15 semifinalists, of which just two are defenders, for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.
Claiborne has been a key contributor for the top-ranked Tigers as he has 40 tackles and four interceptions for an LSU defense that ranks second in the nation in three categories - scoring defense, pass efficiency defense, and total defense. Claiborne also has five pass breakups, one tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry to his credit.
Claiborne is also averaging 28.4 yards on 14 kickoff returns. He helped lead LSU to a road win over West Virginia earlier this year with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
He also returned an interception 89 yards to setup a first half score in a road win over Tennessee. Claiborne had two interceptions in LSU's 19-6 road win over Mississippi State.
The winner of the Thorpe Award will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards show at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.