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Cason Named Thorpe Award Finalist
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/19/2007
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OKLAHOMA CITY--The Jim Thorpe Award screening committee?has announced the three finalists for the award given annually to the nationˇ?s best college defensive back, and one of them is Arizona senior Antoine Cason.

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The three finalists, who will be invited to the nationally telecast Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 6, are:

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Antoine Cason , Senior, Arizona

James Silva , Senior, Boston College

Craig Steltz , Senior, LSU

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The winner will be announced on the show and the official presentation will be at a formal banquet in Oklahoma City on Feb. 12, 2007.

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Arizona has had one previous winner of the honor -- cornerback Darryll Lewis in 1990. Cason was a semifinalist last year, safety Chuck Cecil was a two-time semifinalist in 1986-87, safety Darrell Brooks was a semifinalist in 2005 and cornerback Chris McAlister was a finalist in 1998.

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The 2007 award marks the 21st anniversary of the trophy, first presented in 1986 to Baylorˇ?s Thomas Everett.? Last yearˇ?s winner was University of Texas standout Aaron Ross, now playing for the New York Giants.

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Thorpe Award winners are selected for performance on the field, athletic ability and character.?

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For a second straight season, Arizona senior cornerback Cason was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.? Having started and played nearly every snap in 44 career games, this season he is third on the team with 69 total tackles, has picked off a team-high five passes, including a 42-yarder for a score last week against Oregon and for 60 yards for a?touchdown at Oregon State. He also returned a punt 56 yars for a touchdown against the Ducks and broke up five passes. He has an interception in four of the last five games.

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He has a sacke and 11 PBUs this year, plus has forced two fumbles. His 15 career interceptions are fourth best in UA history behind Cecil (21), Jackie Wallace (20) and McAlister (18). His 349 interception return yards is the?school record total.

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Silva, ?a free safety, is BC's leading tackler (54 solos, 28 assists, 1.5 TFL, 3 pass break-ups) and is tied for seventh in the nation in interceptions with five. He is one of the hardest hitters on the team and recorded a career-high 18 tackles in a game vs. Florida State, including 10 in the first half.? 2007 totals include 58 solo tackles, a total 94 tackles and five interceptions.

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Steltz, ?a senior from New Orleans, leads LSU in tackles with 63, five of which have gone for losses. Steltz is tied for team-high honors with four interceptions to go with six pass breakups. Heˇ?s eighth in the league in passes defended with a total of 10, and has also recorded one sack, forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble.? Earned midseason All-America honors from Sports Illustrated, SI.com, CBSSports.com and Rivals.com.??

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