Pair Of Gators Named To Thorpe Watch List

University of Florida seniors Keiwan Ratliff and Guss Scott have been named leading candidates for the 2003 Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's best defensive back, by the Jim Thorpe Association.

The winner will be announced on ESPN's College Football Awards Show, telecast from Disney World on December 11th and the official award presentation will be in Oklahoma City on February 9th. Florida is one of only nine schools to have multiple players named to the Watch List.

Ratliff started every game at corner and was the only player in Division IA to score on an interception return and by catching a touchdown pass last season. He became the first player in UF history to start on both sides of the ball since the 1960's when he lined up at wide receiver and corner vs. Georgia and South Carolina, finishing the season with four catches for 58 yards and a touchdown on offense. Defensively, he was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after the Kentucky game and finished the season with 53 tackles, nine pass deflections, eight TFLs, a forced fumble and an interception.

Scott, the most experienced Gator on the roster with 2,343 career plays, will start for the second consecutive year after two productive seasons at nickel back and backup to Marquand Manuel. In 2002, he led the defensive backs with 102 total tackles and was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after his performance in the Georgia game, finishing with nine tackles, a quarterback hit and an interception returned for a touchdown.

Kansas State's cornerback Terence Newman won the award in 2002 and was the fifth overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft when the Dallas Cowboys selected him in the first round.

The "Watch List" is derived through a point system based on All-American teams and Honorable Mentions published in at least six preseason football magazines. The award is named after one of football's best all-around athletes who excelled at running back, passer and kicker on offense while staring at defensive back. Recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as simply "The Legend," Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.

JIM THORPE AWARD 2003 PRESEASON "WATCH LIST"

Ryan Aycock Texas Tech Jr

Rashad Baker Tennessee Sr

Jamaal Brimmer UNLV Jr

Ahmad Carroll Arkansas Jr

Kentrell Curry Georgia Sr

Jason David Washington State Sr

Vontez Duff Notre Dame Sr

Glenn Earl Notre Dame Sr

Brandon Everage Oklahoma Sr

Domonique Foxworth Maryland Jr

Chris Gamble Ohio State Jr

Jabari Greer Tennessee Sr

DeAngelo Hall Virginia Tech Jr

Marlin Jackson Michigan Jr

Kelly Jennings Miami So

Jim Leonhard Wisconsin Jr

Keith Lewis Oregon Sr

Justin Miller Clemson So

Medford Moorer Colorado Sr

R.J. Oliver Arizona State Jr

Dakari Pearson Texas Sr

Etric Pruitt Southern Miss Sr

Keiwan Ratliff Florida Sr

Dexter Reid North Carolina Sr

Lawrence Richardson Arkansas Sr

Antrel Rolle Miami Jr

Bob Sanders Iowa Sr

Stuart Schweigert Purdue Sr

Guss Scott Florida Sr

Jason Shivers Arizona State Jr

Maurice Sikes Miami Sr

Derrick Strait Oklahoma Sr

Sean Taylor Miami Sr

Nathan Vashar Texas Sr

Matt Ware UCLA Jr

Madieu Williams Maryland Sr

Corey Webster LSU Sr


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