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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia cornerback Chase Minnifield was announced by the Jim Thorpe Association as one of 15 semifinalists for the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football.

The Thorpe Award, one of the most coveted awards in college football, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2011. This award, established in 1986, is named after one of history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back.

Minnifield (Lexington, Ky.) was named the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week after helping the UVa defense hold the high-powered Georgia Tech offense to a then season-low 296 yards of total offense. The senior has 35 tackles, two interceptions, 1.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for a loss of 23 yards. Minnifield’s 12 career interceptions rank No. 3 in the FBS among active players.

David Amerson of NC State and Jayron Hosley of Virginia Tech join Minnifield as the three ACC players on the semifinalist list.

Minnifield entered the season on the Thorpe Award watch list. Minnifield is also on the Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy and Lott IMPACT Trophy watch lists. Minnifield is also one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.

The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official website,

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