OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Minkah Fitzpatrick from the University of Alabama has been named the 2017 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Winner, given to the top defensive back in college football based on ability and character. Fitzpatrick (6-foot-1, 203-pounds), is a sophomore from Old Bridge, N.J. (St. Peter’s Prep).
Minkah Fitzpatrick is a leader both on and off the field for the Crimson Tide while proving to be the heartbeat of the nation’s No. 1 scoring and pass efficiency defense. He is maybe the most versatile defender in the country, playing safety, cornerback, nickel back and dime linebacker for the Crimson Tide. He has 44 tackles on the season along with 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, an interception, six pass breakups, a forced fumble, a blocked field goal and three quarterback hurries. He is also second in Alabama career interception return yards (274) on nine interceptions.
The Paycom Thorpe Award is named after history’s greatest athlete, Jim Thorpe, and is presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Thorpe excelled at every sport in which he competed, including football where he played on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Paycom Software, Inc. (“Paycom”) (NYSE:PAYC), a leading provider of comprehensive, cloud-based human capital management software, and the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (OSHOF) jointly announced in May of 2017 an exclusive sponsorship of the Jim Thorpe Award. As a result, the accolade was named the “Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.”
The other Paycom Thorpe Award finalists for 2017 were DeShon Elliott from Texas and Josh Jackson from Iowa. Fitzpatrick is the second player from Alabama to be chosen as a Paycom Jim Thorpe Award winner. Antonio Langham from Alabama won the award in 1993.
The announcement was made at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show presented by Gildan on ESPN. Fitzpatrick was presented the Paycom Thorpe Award by former University of Oklahoma head coach, Bob Stoops on behalf of Paycom and the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Paycom will honor Fitzpatrick at the Jim Thorpe Award Banquet on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 in Oklahoma City. The banquet will be held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Ticket and sponsorship questions should be directed to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame at 405.427.1400.
The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 23 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.