South Carolina sophomore cornerback Stephon Gilmore is one of 35 defensive backs named to the 2010 Jim Thorpe Award preseason "watch list" announced Monday.
Gilmore, a 6-1, 188-pound sophomore from Rock Hill, earned Freshman All-America honors last season after starting every game at cornerback. He logged 56 tackles a year ago and broke up eight passes to go along with his one interception. He has been named to the first-team preseason All-SEC squad by both the league's coaches and by the media.
The Thorpe Award is after Jim Thorpe, considered by many to be history's greatest all-around athlete. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense, and at 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 Jim Thorpe Award "watch list" is determined by analysis of the pre-season All-American teams listed in at least six pre-season college football annual magazines.
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A committee meets on the first Monday in November to narrow the field to 10 or 12 semi-finalists and again on the Monday before Thanksgiving to select the three finalists.
The names of these finalists are submitted to a national panel of about 50 sports writers, sportscasters, coaches and former players who vote to determine the winner. The three finalists are invited to the ESPN College Football Awards Show, and the winner is announced during the show.