Baker Named to Jim Thorpe Watch List

July 7, 2008 RUSTON – Louisiana Tech junior safety Antonio Baker was named to the 2008 Jim Thorpe Award preseason "watch list" announced Monday, joining a group of 40 of the nation's best defensive backs as the leading candidates for this year's trophy.

Baker is the lone candidate from the Western Athletic Conference on the list as well as the lone candidate from a Louisiana-based college.

The Thorpe Award is one of college football's most sought after and prestigious awards and is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, a man who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense but who was also an awesome defensive back.

Baker was named first team all-Western Athletic Conference as a sophomore after registering a team-high 118 tackles. He also recorded seven pass break ups, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

The Jim Thorpe Award watch list is determined by analysis of the preseason All-American teams listed in at least six preseason college football annual magazines.

The Amite native has already been named to the Bronko Nagurski watch list. He has also been named to the Preseason All-American honorable mention team as well as Blue Ribbon College Football Preseason All-WAC.

Baker will lead the Bulldogs into the 2008 season starting Aug. 30 when Tech hosts Mississippi State at 5:45 p.m. at Joe Aillet Stadium. To purchase season tickets, log onto or call 318-257-3631.

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