Johnthan Banks Named to Jim Thorpe Award Watch List

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In 2011, Banks became the third player in school history to be named a semifinalist for the prize, joining MSU legends Fred Smoot (finalist in 2000) and Pig Prather (semifinalist in 2001).
Photo Courtesy of hailstate.com

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Hype continues to surround Mississippi State defensive back Johnthan Banks, who Friday was named to the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List, the Jim Thorpe Association announced. The senior captain is one of five players from the Southeastern Conference to make the list for the award, given annually to the nation's best defensive back.

In 2011, Banks became the third player in school history to be named a semifinalist for the prize, joining MSU legends Fred Smoot (finalist in 2000) and Pig Prather (semifinalist in 2001). The watch list is the fourth he's appeared on for a major college football award this summer, joining the Bednarik Award Watch List, Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List and Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List.

A preseason All-American according to Phil Steele and Athlon, Banks has been named to seven different 2012 preseason All-SEC first teams for his defense, as well as three All-SEC squads for his special teams' ability. Last season, Banks racked up 71 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and five interceptions on his way to being named to the All-SEC second team by the Associated Press. The Maben, Miss., native was also a finalist for the Conerly Trophy.

The Jim Thorpe Award watch list is chosen by a screening committee who compiles a list of 30-40 players each year.  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 Dec. 6, 2012, on ESPN.

For more information on Banks and the MSU football program, follow the program on Twitter at @MStateFB and like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateFB.

Johnthan Banks
' 2012 Preseason Honors

Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List
Bednarik Award Watch List
Jim Thorpe Award Watch List
Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List
All-American: Athlon (First Team), Phil Steele (Second Team)
All-SEC First Team (Defense): SEC Coaches, Athlon, Blue Ribbon, Birmingham News, Lindys, Phil Steele, USA Today
All-SEC Second Team (All-Purpose): SEC Coaches
All-SEC Third Team (Special Teams): Athlon, Phil Steele
Lindys Magazine "Best Cover Corner in SEC"


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