CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -
Virginia senior cornerback Ras-I Dowling was named to the Thorpe Award Watch List as announced Monday by the Jim Thorpe Association. The Chesapeake, Va., native is one of six ACC players on the preseason watch list, joining Kendric Burney (North Carolina), Rashad Carmichael (Virginia Tech), Brandon Harris (Miami), DeAndre McDaniel (Clemson) and Deunta Williams (North Carolina).
The 2010 Jim Thorpe Award preseason "watch list" announced today includes 35 of the nation's best defensive backs as the leading candidates for the trophy.
Dowling is mentioned on the Nagurski Trophy watch list for the second-straight season after earning his second-straight second team All-ACC nod, anchoring the ACC's No. 4 and the nation's No. 21 pass defense in 2009. Dowling finished the season ranked No. 6 in the ACC in passes defended (11) and No. 11 in interceptions (three). After recording a career-high nine tackles, including his first career sack, against Indiana, Dowling earned the ACC Defensive Back of the Week nod by the league. He also averaged 3.4 tackles per game and had two tackles for loss. He is also a College Football Insider preseason All-American (second team).
Dowling enters his final season at UVa with eight career interceptions and 145 total tackles. He has 36 career pass defenses.
The Thorpe Award is one of college football's most sought after and prestigious awards. It is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, a man who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense, but also was an awesome defensive back. Recognized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame simply as "The Legend," Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
The Jim Thorpe Award "watch list" is determined by analysis of the pre-season All-American teams listed in at least six pre-season college football annual magazines. Four points are awarded for first team, three points for second team, two points for third and one point for honorable mentions. This procedure determines approximately 30-40 players on the pre-season watch list. This list is not final and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses.
A screening committee of Jim Thorpe Association members follows these players throughout the season, watching games and researching information sources to grade Thorpe Award candidates on the basis of performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The committee meets on the first Monday in November to narrow the field to 10 or 12 semi-finalists.
The committee meets again on the Monday before Thanksgiving to select the three finalists. The names of these finalists are submitted to a national panel of about 50 sports writers, sportscasters, coaches and former players who vote to determine the winner. The three finalists are invited to the ESPN College Football Awards Show, and the winner is announced during the show.
Formal presentation of the Jim Thorpe Award takes place at ceremonies in Oklahoma City on the first Tuesday in February following the national signing date for college football recruits.
2010 Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List:
Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina
Brandon Burton, CB, Utah
Rashad Carmichael, CB, Virginia Tech
Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma
Chimdi Chekwa, CB, Ohio State
Don Decicco, S, Pittsburgh
Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
Blake Gideon, S, Texas
Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
Will Hill, S, Florida
Jermale Hines, S, Ohio State
Brandon Hogan, CB, West Virginia
Davon House, CB, New Mexico State
Duke Ihenacho, S, San Jose State
Jaiquwn Jarrett, S, Temple
Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida
Jeron Johnson, S, Boise State
Tejay Johnson, S, TCU
Shiloh Keo, S, Idaho
Brian Lainhart, S, Kent State
DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson
Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville
Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Tyler Sash, S, Iowa
Robert Sands, S, West Virginia
Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona
Deunta Williams, S, North Carolina
Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game's predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association's official Web site, www.NCFAA.org.