*OFFICIAL MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT*
OKLAHOMA CITY – University of Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, recognizing the nation's best college defensive back, the award screening committee announced Tuesday.
Harris, a true sophomore from Fresno, Calif., leads the Pac-10 in interceptions (5) and passes defended (12). Nationally, he is tied for fourth in interceptions per game (0.62).
Harris has also shined as a specialist this season, returning three punts for touchdowns. He is second in the conference and fifth in the nation in punt return average at 19.5.
A midseason All-American according to SI.com, Harris is also on the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player. He is the only sophomore among the 10 Thorpe semifinalists.
From the Jim Thorpe Association: The 2010 award marks the 25th presentation of the trophy, first won in 1986 by Baylor's Thomas Everett. Last year's winner was the University of Tennessee's Eric Berry, now playing for the Kansas City Chiefs.
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Harris A Semifinalist For Thorpe Award
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