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Alabama football: Tide defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Levi Wallace named Thorpe Award semifinalists

October 24, 2017

TUSCALOOSA — The Jim Thorpe Award released its list of 13 semifinalists Monday. Three are from the Southeastern Conference.

Two are from Alabama.

Tide defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and cornerback Levi Wallace were named semifinalists for the award presented to the nation’s top defensive back.

Wallace, a senior, leads the SEC with 12 passes defended and is tied for Alabama’s team lead with three interceptions. He recorded two sacks of Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano in Saturday’s 45-7 win against the Volunteers, too.

A former walk-on who began the season as a reserve on the Tide’s two-deep depth chart, Wallace ascended to the starting spot in week two and has produced a breakout season garnering national attention. He leads the Tide with nine pass breakups.

The team’s do-it-all defensive back who can play all six secondary positions, Fitzpatrick’s play through eight games has created conversations of his Heisman Trophy candidacy.

The junior has five tackles for loss, a sack, an interception and blocked a field goal just before halftime of Alabama’s 24-7 season-opening win against Florida State. His 35 tackles are the third-most on the team.

An Alabama player hasn’t won the Jim Thorpe Award since Antonio Langham took it home in 1993.