The 2022 college football season is more than halfway done and many of the national awards are starting to update their watch lists into more pared down versions of semifinalists or midseason updates.
The Thorpe Award is one to release an updated semifinalists list and is down to 12 players for the award that will go to the nation’s best defensive back. The award is given to the player that shows the best “performance on the field, athletic ability and character.”
Ohio State junior safety Lathan Ransom find himself firmly on the list, a major accomplishment when you remember how his season ended last year with a major injury in Ohio State’s Rose Bowl win over Utah, 48-45 just 10-plus months ago.
Ransom has played in six of Ohio State’s seven games this season and is third on the team in total tackles with 29. Ransom has one of Ohio State’s seven interceptions on the season and a fumble recovery.
The former four-star recruit out of Tucson (Ariz.) signed with the Buckeyes in the class of 2020 and picked Ohio State out of close to 30 national offers.
Ransom is just one of three Big Ten defensive backs, joined by Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. and Devon Witherspoon of Illinois.
The full list is as follows:
Trevon Flowers, Tennessee, Sr.
Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State, Jr.
Erick Hallett II, Pitt, Sr.
Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU, Jr.
Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M, Jr.
Clark Phillips III, Utah, So.
Joey Porter, Jr., Penn State, Jr.
Lathan Ransom, Ohio State, Jr.
Bentlee Sanders, Nevada, Sr.
Christopher Smith, Georgia, Sr.
Jason Taylor II, Oklahoma State, Sr.
Devon Witherspoon, Illinois, Jr.
A player who is not on the list still could end up as one of the three finalists or the eventual winner as this is not a final list. The finalists will be announced at a later date and the award will be part of ESPN’s annual College Football Award Show in December.
Ohio State has had two Thorpe Award winners with Antoine Winfield (1998) and Malcolm Jenkins (2008). If a member of the Buckeyes can win this year, Ohio State would tie Oklahoma and LSU for most winners with three.