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Whitehead named to Jim Thorpe Award watch list - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Whitehead named to Jim Thorpe Award watch list

DB+Jordan+Whitehead+has+been+named+to+multiple+prestigious+preseason+awards+watch+lists+for+2016.+Wenhao+Wu+%7C+Senior+Staff+Photographer
DB Jordan Whitehead has been named to multiple prestigious preseason awards watch lists for 2016. Wenhao Wu | Senior Staff Photographer

DB Jordan Whitehead has been named to multiple prestigious preseason awards watch lists for 2016. Wenhao Wu | Senior Staff Photographer

DB Jordan Whitehead has been named to multiple prestigious preseason awards watch lists for 2016. Wenhao Wu | Senior Staff Photographer

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

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The preseason accolades keep rolling in for Pitt defensive back Jordan Whitehead.

The Panthers’ star sophomore was named a preseason candidate Monday for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented annually to college football’s best defensive back. Last Friday, Whitehead was named to the Bronko Nagurski award watch list after being tabbed for the Chuck Bednarik award last Tuesday. Both awards are given to the best defensive player in college football.

Whitehead played in all 13 games in his first year at Pitt, starting 12 and putting together a memorable debut season.

A 5-foot-11, 185-pound defensive back from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Whitehead led the team with 109 total tackles in 2015 –– a school record for a true freshman. He also added six tackles for loss, six pass breakups, an interception and a 22-yard fumble recovery touchdown.

Whitehead was also given looks on offense, showcasing his playmaking ability by rushing 12 times for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

His breakout season earned Whitehead the 2015 ACC Rookie of the Year Award, making him the first defensive player to win the award since 1996. He was also named ACC Rookie of the Week three times in 2015 and finished third team All-ACC.

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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper
Whitehead named to Jim Thorpe Award watch list