Cason Named Thorpe Finalist

Ellen Moss
Nov. 19, 2007

University of Arizona football player Antoine Cason has been named a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given annually to the nation’s best college defensive back.

Cason and the two other finalists, James Silva from Boston College and Craig Steltz from Louisiana State University, have been invited to the nationally telecast “Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show” on Dec. 6.

The winner will be announced on the show and the award will be presented at a formal banquet in Oklahoma City on Feb. 12.

Thorpe Award winners are selected by the Jim Thorpe Association for performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The association supports a broad range of civic and charity activities in honor of Native American professional football legend Jim Thorpe.

Arizona has had one previous winner of the award – cornerback Darryll Lewis in 1990. Cason was a semifinalist last year and other UA finalists for the award include safety Chuck Cecil in 1986 and 1987, safety Darrell Brooks in 2005 and cornerback Chris McAlister in 1998.

Cason has started and played nearly every snap in 44 career games. This season, he is third on the team with 69 total tackles and has picked off a team-high five passes, including a 42-yarder for a score last week against Oregon and one for a 60 yard touchdown at Oregon State. He also returned a punt 56 yards for a touchdown against the Ducks and broke up five passes. He has an interception in four of the last five games.

This year, Cason has a sack and 11 pass break-ups and has forced two fumbles. His 15 career interceptions are fourth best in UA history behind Cecil (21), Jackie Wallace (20) and McAlister (18). He has 349 interception return yards, which is a school record.