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    Davis Named To Thorpe Award Semifinalist List
    Junior cornerback Vontae Davis is a Thorpe Award semifinalist for the second season in a row.

    Junior cornerback Vontae Davis is a Thorpe Award semifinalist for the second season in a row.

    Nov. 4, 2008

    University of Illinois junior cornerback Vontae Davis was named to the Thorpe Award Semifinal List for the second straight year, as announced by award officials this afternoon. Davis is one of 13 honored and one of just three from the Big Ten Conference. The award, named after Oklahoma born Native American sports legend Jim Thorpe, is presented annually to the defensive back who best exhibits performance on the field, athletic ability and character.

    Davis is in his third year as a starter in the Illinois secondary and currently has posted 56 tackles, 5.5 for loss. He has one interception and seven passes broken up. He is tied for first in the Big Ten in fumbles forced (0.33/game), tied for seventh in passes defended and is 17th in the Big Ten in tackles per game with 6.4. Davis is a 2008 Playboy All-American and a unanimous preseason All-America selection.

    The semifinalist list will be narrowed to three finalists on Monday, Nov. 24, and the winner will be announced on the ESPNU College Football Awards Show, broadcast nationally on Thursday, Dec. 11. Formal presentation will be at a banquet in Oklahoma City, Monday, Feb. 11, 2009.

    The 2008 Jim Thorpe Award semifinalists:

    Asher Allen, Jr., Georgia
    Eric Berry, So., Tennessee
    Emanuel Cook, Jr., So. Carolina
    Vontae Davis, JR., ILLINOIS
    Trimane Goddard, Sr., N. Carolina
    Malcolm Jenkins, Sr., Ohio State
    Trevard Lindley, Jr., Kentucky
    Taylor Mays, Jr., USC
    Mike Mickens, Sr., Cincinnati
    D. J. Moore, Jr., Vanderbilt
    William Moore, Sr., Missouri
    Alphonso Smith, Sr., Wake Forest
    Otis Wiley, Sr., Michigan State

    Jim Thorpe is generally considered history's greatest all-around athlete, a man who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense, but also an awesome defensive back. Recognized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame simply as "The Legend", Thorpe also played professional baseball and won gold medals in the 1912 Olympics decathlon and pentathlon.

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