Steltz a semifinalist for Thorpe Award

LSU senior defensive back Craig Stletz has been named as one of 12 semifinalists for the Thorpe Award, the screening committee for the award announced on Tuesday.

The Thorpe Award, now in its 21st year, is given annually to the top defensive back in college football. Thorpe Award winners are selected for performance on the field, athletic ability and character.

Steltz, a senior from New Orleans, leads LSU in tackles with 63, five of which have gone for losses. Steltz is also tied for team-high honors with four interceptions to go with six pass breakups. He's also recorded one sack, forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble.

Steltz currently ranks fourth in the Southeastern Conference in interceptions and he's eighth in the league in passes defended with a total of 10.

As a unit, LSU's defense is ranked among the top 10 in the nation in five categories, including a No. 2 rating in total defense (234.7 yards per game), No. 4 in rushing defense (168.8 yards per game) and No. 6 in pass defense (168.8 yards per game.)

The list of 12 semifinalists will be narrowed to three finalists on Nov. 19. The three finalists will be invited to the ESPN's college football awards show on Dec. 6 in Orlando, Fla., where a winner will be announced.

The 2007 Thorpe Award semifinalists:

Trey Brown, Sr., UCLA

Antoine Cason, Sr., Arizona

Vontae Davis, Soph., Illinois

Malcolm Jenkins, Jr., Ohio State

Mike Jenkins, Jr., South Florida

Kenny Phillips, Jr., Miami

James Silva, Sr., Boston College

Reggie Smith, Jr., Oklahoma

Craig Steltz, Sr., LSU

Julius Stinson, Sr., Wyoming

Aqib Talib, Sr., Kansas

Tom Zbikowski, Sr., Notre Dame

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