The semi-finalists were just announced for the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award and Kansas State's Nigel Malone was among the 15 players still up for the award given to the nation's best defensive back. The SEC leads all conferences with 7 players and the Big 12 is next with four. Malone is on the list along with Brodrick Brown from Oklahoma State, Tony Jefferson of Oklahoma and Markelle Martin of Oklahoma State.
Malone has immediately made his presence felt in the defensive backfield with 6 interceptions this season after transferring in to KSU. Given his incredible performance in high pressure situations (two INTs against Oklahoma), Malone's draft stock is likely soaring as well.
The last time someone from the Big 12 won the award was 2006 when Aaron Ross won the award. LSU's Patrick Peterson took the prize last year.
List of Semi-Finalists For The Jim Thorpe Award
Antonio Allen, South Carolina
David Amerson, North Carolina State
Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Mark Barron, Alabama
Brandon Boykin, Georgia
Brodrick Brown, Oklahoma State
Morris Claiborne, LSU
Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt
Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech
Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma
Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama
Nigel Malone, Kansas State
Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State
T.J. McDonald, USC
Chase Minnifield, Virginia