OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--College football’s top defensive back, Minkah Fitzpatrick from the University of Alabama, joined previous honorees Tuesday evening at the Paycom Jim Thorpe Awards Banquet, a formal celebration of the accolade he won Dec. 7, 2017.
“Jim Thorpe symbolized tremendous athletic ability, personal integrity and steadfast character,” said Mike James, Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame president. “We continue to honor Thorpe’s legacy by recognizing the nation’s best college defensive back that exudes each of these three qualities, with the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award. Just like Thorpe, Minkah Fitzpatrick, too, carries these qualities. Each year, several of our previous award winners join us in celebrating and welcoming the new winner into what has become known as ‘the Thorpe fraternity.’”
Past Thorpe winners in attendance at the ceremony, held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, included fellow Alabama defensive back Antonio Langham (1993), Johnthan Banks (2012), Darqueze Dennard (2013), Gerod Holliman (2014), Desmond King (2015) and Adoree’ Jackson (2016).
Fitzpatrick (6-feet-1-inch, 203 pounds), declared for the National Football League draft following his junior year at Alabama, where he helped lead the Crimson Tide to a second national championship during his tenure. Born in New Jersey, where he attended St. Peter’s Preparatory School, he was a leader both on and off the field, and proved to be the catalyst of one of the nation’s top scoring and pass efficiency defenses.
“It’s truly an honor,” said Fitzpatrick. “Since high school, I’ve seen many people win like Patrick Peterson, Adoree’ Jackson and all of these other great players. Just being mentioned with those type of guys is truly a blessing.”
Paycom Software, Inc. (“Paycom”) (NYSE:PAYC) and the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (OSHOF) jointly announced an exclusive sponsorship of the Jim Thorpe Award in May 2017. As a result, the accolade was renamed the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.
“It takes an immense amount of athleticism and grit to succeed at Mr. Fitzpatrick’s level,” said Paycom’s founder and CEO, Chad Richison. “We are honored to recognize him for his accomplishments.”
The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is presented annually to the outstanding defensive back in college football and is the OSHOF’s most distinguished national tribute.
July will see the release of the 2018 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award preseason watchlist. Chosen by a screening committee, its 30 to 50 players ultimately will be narrowed to three semifinalists. One of those three players will win the award in December, during ESPN’s live broadcast of the College Football Awards.
For more information and visuals after the event, please visit: https://goodengroup.wistia.com/projects/h6snlrglqk.
About the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award
The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is presented to the outstanding defensive back in college football each year on ESPN, and is the OSHOF’s most distinguished national tribute. Established in 1986, this accolade is based on performance, athletic ability and character.
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 NCFAA.org to learn more.
As a leader in payroll and HR technology, Oklahoma City-based Paycom redefines the human capital management industry by allowing companies to effectively navigate a rapidly changing business environment. Its cloud-based software solution is based on a core system of record maintained in a single database for all human capital management functions, providing the functionality that businesses need to manage the complete employment life cycle, from recruitment to retirement. Paycom has the ability to serve businesses of all sizes and in every industry. As one of the leading human capital management providers, Paycom serves clients in all 50 states from offices across the country.