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two other Longhorns should be in contention as well
Despite losing three cornerbacks to the NFL Draft last year, the Longhorns managed to put together the best secondary in the pass-heavy Big 12 in 2011.
Texas gave up a conference-low 209.8 yards per game last season and held opposing passers to a 56.6 completion percentage, the Big 12′s second-best mark. Cornerbacks Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs both earned all-conference honors with Byndom making the AP All-Big 12 First team and Diggs getting the Defensive Freshman of the Year award.
But it was safety Kenny Vaccaro that proclaimed himself a 2012 Thorpe Award candidate last December after the Holiday Bowl while he was announcing decision to return to the Longhorns for his senior season.
“I wanna win the Thorpe,” Vaccaro said. “Then I want to go to South Beach.”
Vaccaro, referring to the Orange Bowl, site of this upcoming season’s national title game, is one of three Texas defensive backs that, according to ESPN’s KC Joyner, are among the Big 12 players with the best chance to win the Thorpe Award this year. Byndom topped the list.
“Byndom displayed a rare shutdown ability by allowing only 48 yards on 10 targets versus Justin Blackmon last year,” Joyner writes. “The 15 PBUs were tied for third-most in the FBS. Texas is one of the favorites to win the Big 12 and should get a lrge amount of national television coverage this year.”
After a pair of Oklahoma State Cowboys, Justin Gilbert and Broderick Brown, was Diggs at No. 4 while Vaccaro checked in at No. 6.
“Diggs was one of the most impressive true freshmen in college football last year, as his 19 passes defended were tied for third-most in the FBS. His four interceptions ranked tied for fourth in the Big 12, and that total could have been much higher if Diggss cashed in on some of the seven near-interceptions he had,” Joyner wrote. “The coverage and ballhawking numbers don’t quite do Vaccaro’s skill set justice, as he also racked up 82 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks and seven pressure. That across-the-board stat impact earned Vaccaro a spot on the All-Big 12 first-team squad.”
Everyone is vying for 2nd, unfortunately. Tyrann Mathieu has it locked up no matter how much better some of the other guys look.
When Mathieu wins he will be LSU's third Thorpe winner (and third in a row), tying OU for the most.
Oklahoma - 3
Texas - 2
FSU - 2
LSU - 2
Colorado - 2
Arizona - 2 (Darryl Lewis was an Akina pupil)
Ohio State - 2
Tennessee - 1
Baylor - 1
Miami - 1
Auburn - 1
Kansas State - 1
USC - 1
Alabama - 1
Colorado State - 1
Florida - 1
Minnesota - 1
Wisconsin - 1
Michigan - 1
Here's my HSO. Honey Badger will not win the Thorpe award. It will be someone else. not saying a Texas DB wins but HB will not.
I think losing two backfield mates will hurt the badger. I see him being picked on a little more this year. He will be asked to do more in coverage which will leave him more exposed. He's not the cover guy Vaccaro is. I predict a drop in his turnovers coming. However, LSU will have a lot of prime time games for him to shine in.
I think Bama exposed the honey badger a little bit. I bet more teams try to throw over the top of him..
HB7's rep was built more on his punt return ability then his DB ability.
If he were in this league, he'd be exposed weekly.
Agree but hype has a lot to do with it. He isn't the best DB on his own team. Reid and Simon are better.
Byndom might have an uphill battle trying to win the Thorpe. He's such a shut-down corner, I don't think he'll see enough traffic coming his way to pile up the great stats.
I actually started wondering about the Thorpe when Earl didn't win it. Too much of it is hype.
This post was edited by GetHooked 2 years ago
Eric Berry winning over Earl Thomas shows how much preseason hype matters with these awards.
Honey Badger is going to be tough to beat unless he has a bad year but give our guys some credit for setting high goals. He was handled in the MNC game so the size issue may have opened the door on how to attack him. Bama went at him. Can be done and I am rooting for our guys. It will mean we had a great year.
Also makes a bunch of highlight plays. Ints returned for TDs, caused fumbles and recoveries. HB just has a knack for being disruptive. Gambles and makes it pay most times but Bama going at him may have exposed him some but we'll soon see.
That was a travesty. Thomas should have won hands down over Berry. He had a much better stat year on a better team.
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