Nov. 25, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma State senior cornerback Justin Gilbert has been named one of three finalists for the 2013 Jim Thorpe Award, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced Monday.
The award is given annually to the most outstanding defensive back in college football and will be presented on ESPN on Dec. 12 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show, with Gilbert and co-finalists Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State and Lamarcus Joyner of Florida State in attendance. The winner of the 2013 Thorpe Award will be honored at a banquet in Oklahoma City on Feb. 4, 2014.
Gilbert is one of the faces of Oklahoma State’s defensive improvement, and at 6-2, 200 pounds with 4.36 speed, he is widely considered an elite NFL prospect.
Gilbert has six interceptions this season, a mark that leads the Big 12 and ranks fifth nationally. He has two pick-sixes on the year, coming at Iowa State and at Texas. His 11 career interceptions rank him 16th among all active players and his 25 career pass break-ups are the most for any Cowboy.
Additionally, he has three non-offensive touchdowns this year; a 31-yard interception return at Iowa State, a 100-yard kickoff return vs. Kansas and a 43-yard interception return at Texas. He has eight non-offensive touchdowns in his career.
Oklahoma State has had four major national award winners since 2008 under head coach Mike Gundy, with punter Matt Fodge winning the Ray Guy Award in 2008, kicker Dan Bailey winning the Lou Groza Award in 2010 and receiver Justin Blackmon winning the Biletnikoff Award in 2010 and 2011.
Since 2008 alone, Gundy has coached three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award given to the nation's top wide receiver, plus finalists for the Rimington Award given to the nation's top center, the Mackey Award given to the nation's top tight end, the Outland Trophy given to the nation's top interior lineman, the Doak Walker Award given to the nation's top running back, the Ray Guy Award given to the nation's top punter and the Lou Groza Award given to the nation's top kicker.