The Jim Thorpe Award is given out annually to the top defensive back in the country, whether it be a safety or a cornerback. The three finalists for the award were Duke safety Jeremy Cash, Florida corner Vernon Hargreaves, and Hawkeye junior Desmond King.
The Blue Devils had one of the top defenses in the ACC the past few seasons and Cash was a big part in that. Cash was actually a transfer that head coach David Cutcliffe picked up from Ohio State. Hargreaves is a Florida native that plays for the Gators and was apart of their very stingy defense the past few years. He's a junior as well that is likely to enter the NFL Draft after this season. Iowa's Desmond King is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and was a driving force behind the potent Hawkeye defense with eight interceptions which tied for the lead in the NCAA, lead the Big Ten, and tied a school record that was set by Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick.
On Thursday evening at the College Football Awards Show, Desmond King was named the recipient of the award. He was used significantly for the Hawkeyes as a true freshman and was a full-time starter the past two seasons. He had a couple multiple interception games on the season in pivotal showdowns against Pittsburgh and Wisconsin. He also had a pick-six against Maryland. King was also a viable returner this year for Kirk Ferentz's squad.
King has now been named the Big Ten's top defensive back, the NCAA's top defensive back, on a few different first team NCAA All-American teams, and was honored with a first team all-Big Ten selection as well. That's a heck of a portfolio he is putting together in what could possibly be his final season in Iowa City. He'll have a decision to make on whether or not he will declare early for the NFL Draft.
Desmond King and Iowa will now focus their attention on their final game as they head to Pasadena to take on Stanford in the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2016.