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Nov. 1, 2011

University of South Carolina senior defensive back Antonio Allen is one of 15 semifinalists named by the Jim Thorpe Association for the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football.

Allen, a 6-2, 202-pounder from Ocala, Fla., leads the Gamecocks with 62 tackles, an average of 7.8 per game, and has four games of 10 or more tackles this season. He has recovered three fumbles, has forced three fumbles and has three interceptions. He has scored a pair of touchdowns, returning a fumble against East Carolina and an interception at Georgia.

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 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.

The 2011 Thorpe Award semifinalists represent four conferences: SEC (7), Big 12 (4), ACC (3), and the Pac 12 (1).

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,

The presentation of the Thorpe Award will be featured on The Home Depot College Football Awards live on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. The show, hosted by ESPN’s Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard will feature the live presentation of nine player awards, along with the recipients of Disney’s Spirit Award; The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award, the NCFAA (National College Football Awards Association) Contributions to College Football Award; and student-athletes selected to the Walter Camp All-America Team. Fans can visit the show’s dedicated Web site at to find the latest college football awards news, including show details, previous winners, fan voting, a photo gallery and video highlights.

The 25th Anniversary Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 in Oklahoma City, OK at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Ticket and sponsorship questions should be directed to the Jim Thorpe Association at 405.427.1400.