Alabama duo two of 13 semifinalists for nation’s top defensive back award
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama junior Minkah Fitzpatrick and senior Levi Wallace have been named semifinalists for the 2017 Jim Thorpe Award, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced Monday.
The two are among 13 defensive backs from around the country named to the semifinalist list and are the only set of teammates selected. Antonio Langham previously won the award for Alabama in 1993 and is the Crimson Tide’s lone Thorpe honoree to date.
Already regarded as one of the top defensive backs in the nation, Fitzpatrick is the Tide’s third-leading tackler with 35 stops and has added 5.0 tackles for loss, one sack, four pass breakups, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and a blocked kick through eight games this season. The Old Bridge, N.J., native was a first-team midseason All-America selection by CBS, Sports Illustrated, the Associated Press, USA Today and The Athletic.
A former walk-on, Wallace earned a scholarship last season and worked his way into the starting line-up in 2017. Wallace leads the team in pass breakups with nine and is tied for the team lead in interceptions with three. The Tucson, Ariz., native has added 23 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and one quarterback hurry. He leads the SEC in passes defended with 12 and interception return yards at 66. Wallace received midseason first-team All-America recognition from the Associated Press and The Athletic, as well as a second-team nod from Sports Illustrated.