University of Michigan senior defensive backs Marlin Jackson (Sharon, Pa./Sharon HS) and Ernest Shazor (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King HS) have been named to the preseason watch list for the 2004 Jim Thorpe Award announced today by the Jim Thorpe Award Association. The Thorpe Award is given annually to the nations top defensive back. Michigan was the one of only three schools two have multiple players on this year's preseason list, and the only one from the Big Ten.
Jackson returns to cornerback in 2004 after switching to free safety during the Wolverines' 2003 Big Ten title season. Jackson has contributed 148 tackles over his three year career. He also has seven tackles for loss, eight interceptions, two sacks, and 29 pass breakups. He is currently third all time on Michigans career pass breakup list, and set a single game (six) and single season (18) records in that category in 2002.
Strong safety Shazor has become a big, physical presence in the Wolverine secondary. As a starter for the first time last year, he had 57 tackles, including eight for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and five pass breakups. He was voted All-Big Ten second team by the coaches last season. He has appeared in 23 career games making 11 career starts.
The Thorpe Award candidates will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists on Nov. 1 and down to three finalists Nov. 22. The winner will then be announced on ESPN's College Football Awards Show on Dec. 9.
Michigan kicks off its historic 125th season of football on Sept. 4 against Miami (Ohio).
Media Contact: David Ablauf, Jim Schneider (734) 763-4423