DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE YEAR
The Jim Thorpe Award, named in memory of multi-sport athlete Jim Thorpe, has been awarded to the top defensive back in college football since 1986. It is voted on by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. In 2017, the award became sponsorsed by Paycom and was named the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.
THIS YEAR’S WINNER…
DEANDRE BAKER, CB, GEORGIA BULLDOGS
Baker did not allow one touchdown this season in red and black. The lock-down defender finished with 40 tackles, two interceptions, nine passes defended and a forced fumble and stood out against SEC East competition with seven tackles against Missouri and six tackles and a pick against South Carolina.
Baker put up those numbers all while consistently being asked to defend the opponent’s best playmakers on the outside. He countered receivers’ speed with his own to match them stride-for-stride and brought enough physicality to break up passes and dish out hits.
The 2018 Jim Thorpe Award finalists included:
- Georgia – CB DeAndre Baker, senior
- Notre Dame – CB Julian Love, junior
- Louisiana State – CB Greedy Williams, sophomore