Jaquan Brisker Named Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist

Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker is one of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, as the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association announced Monday.

The award is annually given out to the nation’s top defensive back.

The 2021 season has been one of noticeable individual success for Brisker, with him likely playing his way onto many people’s NFL draft boards. This season, Brisker has recorded 33 tackles, a fumble recovery, and two interceptions, including the game-sealing interception in Penn State’s week one win over Wisconsin.

Anchoring the defense, Brisker’s leadership and performance on the field is a big reason why the No. 20 Nittany Lions have allowed the second-fewest touchdowns and fifth-fewest yards per play in the country.

This isn’t the first accolade the Pittsburgh native has received in 2021. Prior to the season’s start, Brisker was included on the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is annually given to college football’s best defensive player.

The Big Ten tied the AAC as the most-represented conference on the official semifinalist list with three. Iowa’s Matt Hankins and Riley Moss were the other two in-conference semifinalists named.

A Brisker win would bring Penn State its first Thorpe Award in program history.

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

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