admin | Posted: 23 Oct 2016 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Kai Nacua named a semifinalist for Jim Thorpe Award

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OKLAHOMA CITY—The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame named BYU senior safety Kai Nacua one of 16 semifinalists for the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football.

The Thorpe Award is named after history’s greatest athlete, Jim Thorpe, and is presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City. Thorpe excelled at every sport in which he competed, including football at which he played on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The three Thorpe Award finalists will be named on Monday, November 21st and the winner will be announced at the live Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 8th airing on ESPN.

Nacua is currently tied for the FBS lead with five interceptions this season. He has 35 total tackles in 2016, one tackle for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He is BYU's career leader in interceptions since 2000 with 13 total picks. In 2015 he tied the single-season school record with six interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns.

The winner of the 2016 Thorpe Award will be honored at a banquet in Oklahoma City on February 7, 2017.

The 2016 Thorpe Award semifinalists represent eight conferences: BIG TEN (4), SEC (3), MW (2), PAC-12 (2), ACC (2), BIG-12 (1), IND (1), CUSA (1).

Jaire Alexander, Louisville, So.
Budda Baker, Washington, Jr.
Travon Blanchard, Baylor, Jr.
Justin Evans, Texas A&M, Sr.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama, So.
Malik Hooker, Ohio State, So.
Adoree’ Jackson, USC, Jr.
Desmond King, Iowa, Sr.
Jourdan Lewis, Michigan, Sr.
Kai Nacua, BYU, Sr.
Jabrill Peppers, Michigan, Jr.
Weston Steelhammer, Air Force, Sr.
Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson, Sr.
Tre’Davious White, LSU, Sr.
Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech., Sr.
Andrew Wingard, Wyoming, Sr.

The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast over 722 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit to learn more.