Nov. 5, 2008
University of Cincinnati senior cornerback Mike Mickens (Huber Hts., Ohio/Wayne) was named one of 13 semifinalists for the 2008 Jim Thorpe Award, awarded annually to the top defensive back in the nation, the Jim Thorpe Association announced Wednesday.
Mickens is the sole BIG EAST representative on the list.
Mickens, the UC career leader in both interceptions (13) and interception return yards (268), has three picks on the season, one which went back for a 72-yard touchdown against Miami (OH). He leads the team with 48 tackles, including 30 solo stops. He has 1.5 tackles for loss, eight pass break ups, and leads the BIG EAST and is tied for 10th nationally, averaging 1.4 passes defended per game. He was also recently invited to participate in the 2009 Under Armour Senior Bowl. Mickens was a midseason all-America selection by CBSSports.com, a 2007 Football Writers Association of America all-American, and a 2007 First-Team All-BIG EAST pick.
Along with Mickens, the 12 other semifinalists are: Asher Allen (Georiga), Eric Berry (Tennessee), Emanuel Cook (South Carolina), Vontae Davis (Illinois), Trimane Goddard (North Carolina), Malcolm Jenkins (Ohio State), Trevard Lindley (Kentucky), Taylor Mays (USC), D.J. Moore (Vanderbilt), Williams Moore (Missouri), Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest), and Otis Wiley (Michigan State).
A screening committee of Jim Thorpe Association members will meet on the Monday before Thanksgiving to select the three finalists. The names of these finalists are submitted to a national panel of over 50 sports writers, sportscasters, former players and coaches who vote to determine the winner. The finalists are invited to ESPN's College Football Awards Show, broadcast in December from Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The winner is announced during the broadcast, but the official presentation of the award takes place in February, at a formal banquet in Oklahoma City.