Aug. 26, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Four Seminole football players graced the pages of the Jim Thorpe and Dick Butkus Awards “Watch List.” Seniors Tay Cody and Derrick Gibson are listed among the 40 members of the Thorpe watch list while linebackers Tommy Polley and Brian Allen are among the top candidates for the Butkus Award.
The 40 players on this year’s Thorpe Watch List were compiled from the pre-season All-American lists and honors candidates in several football publications. Over 70 defensive backs received consideration. Semi-Finalists will be announced the second week in November and three finalists will be selected the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Finalists are invited to ESPN’s College Football Awards show at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., where the winner will be announced December 7. The Jim Thorpe award has been presented to the best defensive back in college football since 1986, by the Jim Thorpe Association.
Seniors Polley and Allen are two of the seven ACC players nominated for the “watch list.” The others include Keith Adams (Clemson), Marion Moore (Maryland), Clayton White (NC State), Brandon Spoon (UNC), Byron Thweatt (Virginia). The Butkus Award Watch List will be trimmed to 10 semi-finalists on October 19. The three finalists will be announced on a national teleconference on November 9, at the Downtown Marriott Orlando. The winner will be announced on Friday, December 8 at the Butkus Award Gala at “Hard Rock Live,” at Universal Studios “City Walk.” Polley is one of only 11 players on the 70-person list which has graced the list two or more years. Created in 1985 by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Inc., the Butkus Award carries the name and support of one of the greatest middle linebackers in football history, Dick Butkus of Illinois.
Florida State University holds the impressive accolade of being one of only two schools (Colorado) with two former winners of both awards. Past winners of the Thorpe Award include Deion Sanders (1988) and Terrell Buckley (1991). Of the 14 past winners of the Butkus Award, Paul McGowan (1987) and Marvin Jones (1992) have taken home the post-season honor.
All four Noles are scheduled to be in action in the Garnet and Gold’s season-opener against BYU in the Pigskin Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. Polley and Allen are listed as probable for the game, following pre-season practice injuries.