July 11, 2014
Rice senior cornerback Bryce Callahan is one of 39 defensive backs who make up the initial watch list for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award, which is annually presented to the nation's top defensive back by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
Callahan enters his senior year with 11 career interceptions, which rank third nationally among active players and are tied for fourth in school history. He led the C-USA Champion Owls in 2013 with 10 pass breakups and 13 total passes defended. He set up the winning touchdown vs. FAU last fall with a fourth quarter interception which he returned for 22 yards.
He was a second-team, all-conference selection last year and earned freshman All-American honors in 2011.
Callahan is the third Owl to be named to one or more of college football's preseason awards watch lists. Christian Covington has been named to the Bednarik, Nagurski and Outland Trophy lists while punter James Farrimond has been named to the Ray Guy Award's preseason list.
The Jim Thorpe 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.
The Jim Thorpe Award watch list is chosen by a screening committee who compile a list of 30-50 players. 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, December 11, 2014 on ESPN.
The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 in Oklahoma City, OK.
The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 699 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more the organization.