Steltz Named Thorpe Award Finalist
BATON ROUGE — LSU senior Craig Steltz is having one of the best seasons for a Tiger defensive back in recent history and he was rewarded for his play on Monday, being named one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, the screening committee for the award announced.
The Jim Thorpe Award is given annually to the top defensive back in college football. Steltz, along with the other two finalists ? James Silva of Boston College and Antoine Cason of Arizona ? will be invited to the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on December 6 in Orlando, Fla.
The winner of the 2007 Thorpe Award will be announced on the show in Orlando with the official presentation to come at a formal banquet in Oklahoma City on February 12.
The 2007 award marks the 21st anniversary of the trophy, first presented in 1986 to Baylor’s Thomas Everett. Last year’s winner was University of Texas standout Aaron Ross, now playing for the New York Giants.
Thorpe Award winners are selected for performance on the field, athletic ability and character.
Steltz is the leading tackler for the top-ranked Tigers with 73 stops this year, including 47 solo tackles. Steltz also ranks first in the Southeastern Conference with six interceptions, two of which came last week in LSU’s 41-24 win over Ole Miss.
A native of New Orleans, Steltz ranks fifth in the SEC in passes defended with 13. He’s also recorded five tackles for losses, one sack, one fumble recovery and he’s forced a pair of fumbles.
As a unit, LSU’s defense ranks among the top 10 in the nation in five categories, including a No. 1 rating in pass efficiency defense and a No. 2 ranking in total defense.