July 11, 2016
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 has previously been named this summer to the 2016 Bednarik Award, Nagurski and Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List. Blanding was also on the 2015 preseason Jim Thorpe Award Watch List as a sophomore.
Blanding (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.), a second-team All-American and first-team All-ACC honoree last year, returns for his junior season in 2016. Blanding started all 12 games and finished the year No. 2 in the ACC with 9.58 tackles per game.
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. 8, 2016 on ESPN. The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 in Oklahoma.