OKLAHOMA CITY – Arizona State University football student-athlete Alden Darby has been named to the Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association announced Friday.
The Thorpe Award, presented to the nation’s most outstanding defensive back, was established in 1986 and is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe.
Darby, who moved from cornerback to safety prior to the 2012 season, played an instrumental role in a defensive backfield that ranked third nationally in pass defense and 10th in passing efficiency defense, and led the Pac-12 in both categories. ASU also finished the season with 21 interceptions, a mark that was tied for fourth in the nation.
A 2012 All-Pac-12 Second Team selection, Darby recorded three interceptions on the year, including one against USC that he returned for a 70-yard touchdown, which was the longest interception return for a touchdown for ASU since Troy Nolan's 100-yard return in 2008. Darby also added 80 tackles, including eight in the team's Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl win over Navy.
Darby was also named to the preseason watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, given to those who have a positive influence in the classroom, on the field and around the community.
Darby is heavily involved in the Scholar Baller leadership and outreach program, where he helps develop curriculum, deliver, teach and mentor students at South Mountain High School, Academy of Excellence and Cesar Chavez High School teaching them about developing championship character, creating a strong sense of self and becoming a great leader.
A three-year Sun Devil, Darby has 145 career tackles, six career interceptions for a 194 return yards, and seven pass deflections.
Darby is one of eight Pac-12 representatives on the list, which is tied for the most of any conference.
The Thorpe Award Winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 12, 2013 on ESPN. The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 in Oklahoma City, OK.
2013 Sun Devil Award Watch Lists
Thorpe Award (nation’s most outstanding defensive back)- Alden Darby
Outland Trophy (nation’s most outstanding interior lineman) – Will Sutton
Nagurski Trophy (national defensive player of the year) – Sutton, Carl Bradford
Mackey Award (nation’s most outstanding tight end) – Chris Coyle
Maxwell Award (nation’s most outstanding player) – Marion Grice, Taylor Kelly, Sutton
Bednarik Award (nation’s most outstanding defensive player) – Bradford, Sutton
Hornung Award (nation's most versatile player) - DJ Foster
Rimington Award (nation's top center) - Kody Koebensky
Lott IMPACT Trophy (positive influence both on and off the field) – Darby
ASU opens the 2013 season on Sept. 5 at Sun Devil Stadium against Sacramento State and the remaining schedule features two conference champions, the national championship runner-up and traditional Pac-12 rivals.
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