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ECU's Eskridge Named To Thorpe Watch List

IRVING, Texas – East Carolina senior safety Van Eskridge has been named a preliminary candidate for the 2009 Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented to the top defensive back in college football each season. The Jim Thorpe Award is presented by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City. The preseason watch list was unveiled Thursday on ESPN’s College Football Live.

Eskridge is a two-year starting free safety that led all Pirate defenders with 59 solo tackles while playing in all 14 games in 2008. A first team All-Conference USA selection, he started the first 13 games of the season before an injury kept him out of the starting lineup against Kentucky in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Eskridge tallied a total of 97 overall stops (third on unit) and was the team's co-leader with four interceptions. He had a pair of fourth quarter interceptions at Tulsa in the Conference USA Championship Game, the last with 1:03 remaining to secure the Pirates' 27-24 triumph. Eskridge earned an ESPN Game Day Final Helmet Sticker for his play against Golden Hurricane, which also included nine stops.

A screening committee will narrow the list of candidates to 10 or 12 semifinalists and candidates will be judged on performance, athletic ability and character.

Three finalists will be invited to attend the ESPN College Football Awards Show and the winner will be announced during the show. The formal presentation of the Jim Thorpe Award will take place in Oklahoma City in February.

2009 JIM THORPE AWARD WATCH LIST

Name, School Class, Pos
Javier Arenas, Alabama
Aaron Berry, Pittsburgh
Eric Berry, Tennessee
Ahmad Black, Florida
Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech
Kendric Burey, North Carolina
Crezdon Butler, Clemson
Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech
Chris Chandler, Clemson
Barry Church, Toledo
Kurt Coleman, Ohio State
Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State
Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
Van Eskridge, East Carolina
Dominique Franks, Oklahoma
Joe Haden, Florida
Duke Ihenacho, San Jose State
Reshad Jones, Georgia
Jordan Lake, Baylor
Myron Lewis, Vanderbilt
Trevard Lindley, Kentucky
Taylor Mays, USC
Amari Spievey, Iowa
Darrell Stuckey, Kansas
Earl Thomas, Texas
SydQuan Thompson, California
Walter Thurmond, Oregon
Alterraun Verner, UCLA
Stephen Virgil, Virginia Tech
Deunta Williams, North Carolina
Kyle Wilson, Boise State


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