Hamlin Named to Thorpe Award Preseason List

Clemson safety Michael Hamlin is one of 35 players named to the 2007 Preseason Jim Thorpe Award Watch list. Hamlin is one of 14 underclassmen and one of eight players named to the list from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Hamlin, a starter for Clemson in 2005 and 2006 seasons, is a second-team preseason All-American by Street & Smith and is also a preseason All-ACC pick according to many publications. The native of Timmonsville, SC, has started 17 games over the last two years and has played in 22 of the last 25.

Hamlin missed three games in 2006 as the result of a broken foot suffered on an attempted interception against Boston College. Ironically, Hamlin was awarded an interception before a bogus call by instant replay officials gave the ball back to Boston College.

Hamlin was also a big reason Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson had just four receptions for 46 yards over the last two years against the Tigers.

Hamlin finished the 2006 season with 64 tackles in his 10 games, including 47 first hits. He had two interceptions, including a 74-yard touchdown return in the season opener against Florida Atlantic. For his career he has 119 tackles and four interceptions. He ranks ninth in school history in interception return yards with 132.

Clemson has had four players rank in the top 12 of the Thorpe Award selection process. Antwan Edwards, a first-round draft pick in 1998, reached the final 10 in 1998, Robert Carswell, Clemson's career tackle leader among defensive backs, reached the top 12 in 2000, Justin Miller, an All-Pro kick returner with the New York Jets in 2006, reached the final 12 in 2004, and Tye Hill was in the final three for the Thorpe Award in 2005. He is now with the St. Louis Rams.

The Thorpe Award, presented annually to the nation's best college defensive back, is one of college football's most sought after and prestigious awards. It is named after history greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe, 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 watch list is narrowed to 10 semi-finalists the first Monday in November and then to three finalists the Monday before Thanksgiving. The winner is announced on ESPN's College Football Awards Show, national telecast on December 6 from Orlando, FL. The official presentation of the award will be in Oklahoma City on February 12.

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