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July 13, 2015

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia free safety Quin Blanding and was named to the 2015 preseason Jim Thorpe Award Watch List, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced Monday. The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame awards the Jim Thorpe Award annually to the nation’s best defensive back.

Blanding (So., Virginia Beach, Va.), who was also named to the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy Watch List last week, was the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2014 after finishing the regular season No. 2 in the ACC with 123 tackles, while also leading the nation’s freshmen. Blanding also was named Scout.com’s National Defensive Rookie of the Year, while also earning numerous Freshman All-America distinctions from various outlets, including by Athlon Sports. Blanding was also named a 2015 preseason All-American by Athlon Sports (third-team) and Phil Steele (fourth-team).

The award was established in 1986 and is named after 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. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.

A screening committee who compile a list of 30-50 players chooses the Jim Thorpe Award Watch List. The list is not final, and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses. The Thorpe Award Winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 on ESPN.

The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football.

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