King on Thorpe Watch List

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; July 26, 2007 – Junior cornerback Justin King (Pittsburgh) has been named to the Watch List for the Jim Thorpe Award, an honor presented to the nation's top defensive back.

A year ago, in his first full season focusing exclusively on defense, King quickly established himself as a premiere shut down corner. Versus top-ranked Ohio State, he put together a breakout performance, holding explosive receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. to just two catches for 15 yards and picking off future Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith for the first interception of his career. In the Nittany Lions' 20-10 win over Tennessee in the Outback Bowl, King limited All-American receiver Robert Meachem to four catches for 33 yards.

Instrumental in helping the Penn State defense rank in the top 15 nationally in several categories, King recorded 30 tackles (22 solo), six pass break-ups, and one interception. In honor of his standout season, King was selected second team All-Big Ten.

A letters, arts, and sciences major, King is on schedule to graduate in December 2007. He earned Dean's List recognition during the fall 2005 semester and was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree in 2006.

The Jim Thorpe Award "watch list" is determined by analysis of the pre-season All-American teams listed in at least six pre-season college football annual magazines. The watch list is narrowed to 10 semifinalists the first Monday in November and then to three finalists the Monday before Thanksgiving. The winner is announced on ESPN's College Football Awards Show, nationally telecast on December 6. The official presentation of the award will be in Oklahoma City on February 12.

Penn State has a strong tradition of producing Thorpe Award candidates, as former Nittany Lions David Macklin (1999), James Boyd (2000), and Alan Zemaitis (2005) are past semifinalists.

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