OKLAHOMA CITY--UA senior free safety Darrell Brooks has reached the final 12 of the selection process for the nation's top defensive back award.
The Jim Thorpe Award screening committee in Oklahoma City has announced semi-finalists for the award given annually to the nation's best college defensive back.
Brooks and league playing colleague Darnell Bing of top-ranked Southern California are the two players among the semi-finalists from the pacific-10 Conference. Brooks has two interceptions, two forced fumbles and leads the Wildcats with 74 tackles. His efforts as a team captain have helped the Wildcats to back-to-back victories with some outstanding defensive efforts the past two weeks.
Already a UA degree holder, Brooks is taking graduate business courses. He is an academic honor student and plans to intern with UA athletics director Jim Livengood during the spring term at the university.
This list will be narrowed on Nov. 21 to three finalists. The winner will be announced on ESPN's College Football Awards Show, telecast llive from Disney World in Orlando, Florida, on December 8, 2005.
The Jim Thorpe Association first presented the award in 1986 to Thomas Everett of Baylor. The 1989 winner, Marc Carrier of USC, will present the Thorpe trophy on this year's ESPN show. The official presentation of the award will be at a banquet in Oklahoma City on February 7, 2006. Winners are selected for performance on the field, athletic ability and character. Last year's winner was Auburn University standout Carlos Rogers, who is now playing for the Washington Redskins.
The 2005 semi-finalists are:
Darnell Bing, Jr, USC
Greg Blue, Sr, Georgia
Darrell Brooks, Sr, Arizona
Dion Byrum, Sr, Ohio
Charles Gordon, Jr, Kansas
Roman Harper, Sr, Alabama
Michael Huff, Sr, Texas
Tye Hill, Sr, Clemson
LaRon Landry, Jr, LSU
Brandon Merriweather, Jr, Miami (FL)
Jimmy Williams, Sr, Virginia Tech
Alan Zemaitis, Sr, Penn State