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Alabama Football’s Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison Named to Jim Thorpe Award Watch List

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Alabama junior defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison have been named to the 2017 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List announced today by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

The two are among 45 defensive backs from around the country named to the preseason list. Antonio Langham previously won the award for Alabama in 1993 and is the Crimson Tide’s lone winner.

The leader of the Crimson Tide secondary after a pair of standout seasons in his first two years in Tuscaloosa, Fitzpatrick made the move to safety midway through the season in 2016 and will once again direct the Tide secondary in 2017. He has returned four interceptions for touchdowns during his career to set the Alabama all-time mark for pick-sixes. The Old Bridge, N.J., native was a first team All-American by the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association and Pro Football Focus in 2016 and earned second-team honors from Walter Camp and The Sporting News. He led the team in interceptions (6) and interception return yards (186) as a sophomore and his 186 return yards ranked near the top nationally while his six picks tied for seventh in the FBS.

In 2016, Harrison totaled 86 tackles to rank second on the team, and added two interceptions – one of which he returned for a touchdown – two fumble recoveries, including one that was returned for a 55-yard score, and two quarterback hurries. The Tallahassee, Fla., native also had 1.5 tackles for loss (-8 yards) and seven pass breakups. He blocked one field goal on the season, tied for the team lead with eight tackles on kickoff coverage and tied for third on the team with eight stops overall on special teams.

The Jim Thorpe Award has been presented annually since 1986 by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame to recognize the top defensive back in college football. The award is named in honor of multi-sport legend Jim Thorpe. The 2017 winner will be announced at the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show in December.

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