Former Carolina cornerback Dre' Bly was a finalist for the Thorpe Award in 1996 and 1997. The Thorpe Award is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, 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 will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists the first Monday in November and then to three finalists the Monday before Thanksgiving. The winner will be announced on ESPN's College Football Awards Show, telecast from Disney World on December 11. The official presentation of the award will be in Oklahoma City on February 9.
The watch list is derived through a point system based on All-American teams and Honorable Mentions published in at least six pre-season football magazines.