Gilbert One Of Three Jim Thorpe Finalists

Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert was named Monday as a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award that goes to the nation's most outstanding defensive back. The announcement was made by the Jim Thorpe Association of Oklahoma City and the award, which will be announced as part of The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 12, will be presented at a black tie banquet Feb. 4 in Oklahoma City.

Gilbert is joined by Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State and Lamarcus Joyner of Florida State as finalists for the award.

Gilbert, long considered an NFL prospect, has six interceptions this season, a mark that leads the Big 12 and ranks fifth nationally. He has two pick-sixes on the year, the first coming at Iowa State and the other at Texas. His 11 career interceptions ranks him 16th among all active players and his 25 career pass break-ups are the most for any Cowboy.

Gilbert also has six kickoff returns for touchdowns in his career, including a 100-yard kickoff return against Kansas this season. The combination of his play at corner and his return ability make the 6-2, 200-pound speedster a top NFL prospect.

Oklahoma State has had four major national award winners since 2008 under head coach Mike Gundy, with punter Matt Fodge winning the Ray Guy Award in 2008, kicker Dan Bailey winning the Lou Groza Award in 2010 and receiver Justin Blackmon winning the Biletnikoff Award in 2010 and 2011.

Since 2008 alone, Gundy has coached three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award given to the nation's top wide receiver, plus finalists for the Rimington Award given to the nation's top center, the Mackey Award given to the nation's top tight end, the Outland Trophy given to the nation's top interior lineman, the Doak Walker Award given to the nation's top running back, the Ray Guy Award given to the nation's top punter and the Lou Groza Award given to the nation's top kicker.

(OSU athletic media relations contributed to this report.)

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