USC’s Jaylan Foster Named Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 1:17 PM EDT
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University of South Carolina senior safety Jaylan Foster is one of 12 semifinalists for the 2021 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, awarded to the best defensive back in college football, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced today The award is based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character.

Foster, a 5-10, 195-pounder from Duncan, S.C., is the NCAA leader in interceptions with five. No other player in the SEC has more than three. He has the most interceptions in a season for a Gamecock since Ko Simpson logged six picks in 2004. He also leads the team and ranks third in the SEC in tackles with 65, an average of 8.13 per game. Last week, Foster was recognized by Sporting News on its Midseason All-America team.

The dozen semifinalists on this year’s list represent six conferences and are selected by a screening committee. However, this list is not final and unlisted players who have continually outstanding performances as the season progresses may be recognized as one of the three finalists.


Jaquan Brisker, Penn State, Sr.

Coby Bryant, Cincinnati, Sr.

Lewis Cine, Georgia, Jr.

Jaylan Foster, South Carolina, Redshirt Sr.

Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati, Jr.

Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame, Jr.

Matt Hankins, Iowa, Sr.

Brandon Hill, Pittsburgh, Redshirt So.

Verone McKinley III, Oregon, So.

Ja’Quan McMillian, East Carolina, So.

Riley Moss, Iowa, Sr.

Jalen Pitre, Baylor, Sr.

By Conference

AAC (3), ACC (1), BIG TEN (3), BIG 12 (1), IND (1), PAC-12 (1), SEC (2)