Congratulations are in order for Penn State senior safety Marcus Allen and cornerback Grant Haley who have been named as two of the 13 semifinalists for the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football.
The Thorpe Award is based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character, and Allen and Haley certainly fit the criteria.
Marcus Allen ranks second for the Nittany Lions with 41 tackles (including 22 solo stops), and also has four tackles for loss, one sack, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. Allen also snagged his first career interception against Georgia State and had a safety against Pittsburgh.
Grant Haley ranks the second for Penn State with two interceptions and six pass breakups. He also has 19 tackles, including two tackles for loss and a sack, and a fumble recovery. Haley has been named to the Big Ten Team of the Week by Pro Football Focus three times this season, and was also selected as a Midseason All-American by The All-American and USA Today
The Nittany Lions and the Alabama Crimson Tide are the only teams with two semifinalists for the Thorpe Award.
Good luck and congratulations, Marcus and Grant!