July 13, 2012
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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Friday morning the two juniors were included on the Jim Thorpe Award’s 2012 preseason list of 35 players, as announced by the Jim Thorpe Association. The award is annually bestowed upon college football’s best defensive back.
Joyner and Rhodes have already been named to watch lists for the Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which are two separate honors for the student-athlete deemed the nation’s best defensive player.
Joyner, a true junior, is coming off a breakout sophomore season that saw him lead the team with four interceptions while racking up 54 tackles. The 2011 season was Joyner’s first campaign in the starting lineup and his first as a collegiate safety after he spent his rookie year playing cornerback.
Rhodes, a redshirt junior, is considered to be one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s best pure cover cornerbacks and is coming off a 2011 season that saw him post 43 tackles, an interception and four pass breakups.
ABOUT THE JIM THORPE AWARD
The Thorpe Award is named after history’s greatest athlete, Jim Thorpe, and is presented by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City. Thorpe excelled at every sport in which he competed, including football at which he played on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The 2012 Olympics mark the 100-year anniversary of Thorpe winning gold in the decathlon and pentathlon at the Stockholm Olympics.
The Jim Thorpe Award watch list is chosen by a screening committee who compiles a list of 30-40 players each year. 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 Dec. 6, 2012 on ESPN.