July 11, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Florida Atlantic University senior corner D'Joun Smith has been named to the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List, as announced today by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
The senior and 2013 team MVP set the tone early with seven total tackles and a pass break-up in the 2013 season opener at Miami. He was FAU's defensive game ball winner after his efforts versus Middle Tennessee and New Mexico State, but it may be his efforts in the Tulane game that he is most known for with three interceptions and the jumpstart FAU needed to begin its four-game win streak. Smith led the nation for two weeks in total interceptions and concluded the regular season ranked No. 2 nationally in interceptions and No. 3 nationally in passes defended. Smith ended the year with 35 tackles, two for a loss, a sack, seven interceptions and two forced fumbles. He garnered Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors twice and was named the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week as well.
The Jim Thorpe Award is one of the most coveted awards in college football. The award was established in 1986 and is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
The Jim Thorpe Award watch list is chosen by a screening committee that compiles a list of 30-50 players. The list is not final and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses. The Thorpe Award Winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 11 on ESPN.
Smith, one of 39 on the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award list, is the second FAU player to garner 2014 preseason honors. Senior center Braden Lyons was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch list earlier this week.
The duo will open the Owls' 2014 season at Nebraska on Saturday, Aug. 30 in Lincoln, Neb. FAU will open the 2014 home schedule on Saturday, Sept. 13 versus Tulsa at FAU Stadium. For season tickets, call 1-866-FAU-Owls.