July 8, 2008
OKLAHOMA CITY – Notre Dame senior safety David Bruton was one of 40 players named to the Jim Thorpe Award Watch List, the Jim Thorpe Association announced. The Thorpe Award is given annually to college football’s top defensive back.
Bruton is Notre Dame’s top returning tackler in 2008 after ranking third on the squad last year with 85 tackles. In 2007, Bruton added one sack, 4.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions, two passes broken up, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery while starting 11 of the 12 contests he played. He was a key member of an Irish secondary that ranked second in the nation in passing yards allowed per game, permitting just 161.6 yards per game.
Voted a 2008 team captain by his teammates following spring practice, Bruton is one of 11 free safeties to make the watch list. He enters 2008 with the second-most career tackles on the team and has been a special teams stalwart for the Irish, excelling as a gunner on the punt coverage team.
The Thorpe Award is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, a man who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense, but also was an awesome defensive back. Recognized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame simply as “The Legend”, Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
The Jim Thorpe Award “watch list” is determined by analysis of the pre-season All-American teams listed in at least six pre-season college football annual magazines. Four points are awarded for First Team, three points for second team, two points for third and one point for fourth teams and honorable mentions. This procedure determines approximately 40 players on the pre-season watch list. This list is not final and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses.
The finalists are submitted to a national panel of about 50 sports writers, sportscasters, coaches and former players who vote to determine the winner. The three finalists are invited to the ESPN College Football Awards Show, and the winner is announced during the show.
Formal presentation of the Jim Thorpe Award takes place at ceremonies in Oklahoma City on the first Tuesday in February following the national signing date for college football recruits.