Senior cornerback Amani Oruwariye was named a semifinalist today for the Jim Thorpe award, which is named annually to the nation’s best defensive back:
We're excited to join the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in congratulating the 2018 Paycom @jimthorpeaward semifinalists! This year's semifinalists represent players from eight conferences. #AAC #NotreDame #ACCFootball #Big12FB #CUSAFB #Pac12FB #SECFB #BigTen #PaycomThorpeAward pic.twitter.com/8tC3Ukes8L— Paycom (@Paycom) October 22, 2018
The Nittany Lion cornerback, second in the conference in passes defended, has been graded by some as a first-round talent. Oruwariye has come on strong his final season in the blue and white, starting the season by sealing an overtime win against Appalachian State with the game-clinching interception. He originally found his way to Happy Valley after committing to James Franklin at Vanderbilt.
No Penn State player has ever won the Jim Thorpe award, which was first presented in 1986. Last year, then-seniors Marcus Allen and Grant Haley were both semifinalists for the award.