Wednesday, September 02, 2015

UTSA's Triston Wade named to Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list

Triston Wade

UTSA student-athlete Triston Wade
(Photo: Jeff Huehn, UTSA Athletics)

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(July 18, 2014) -- UTSA student-athlete Triston Wade is one of 39 players recently named to the Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list. The award is presented annually to the nation's top defensive back.

Wade is coming off another all-conference season for the Roadrunners. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound free safety followed up his 2012 first-team All-Western Athletic Conference campaign with a team-leading 94 tackles and two interceptions to go along with seven pass breakups and two-and-a-half tackles behind the line of scrimmage in 12 starts, and he was rewarded with second-team All-Conference USA recognition.

The senior from Tyler intercepted both his passes at Tulsa (Nov. 2), one of which he returned 82 yards for a touchdown, and he also broke up a toss in the end zone to go along with four stops in that contest. Wade recorded a career-high 12 stops at Arizona (Sept. 14) and matched that feat two weeks later against Houston (Sept. 28).

He enters his final season as the program’s all-time leader in interceptions (8), pass breakups (21), forced fumbles (7) and fumble recoveries (4) and stands second in tackles (207). Wade has had a hand in a total of 15 turnovers (eight INTs/seven fumbles) in the first 34 games of his career.

The Jim Thorpe Award is one of the most coveted awards in college football. It was established in 1986 and is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but he also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, he played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in both the decathlon and pentathlon.

The Thorpe Award watch list was chosen by a screening committee, but the list is not final, as players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses. This year's winner will be selected from three finalists and announced Thursday, Dec. 11 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN. The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet then will be held Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Oklahoma City. View the complete list of previous Jim Thorpe award winners.

It marks the second time in a week that a Roadrunner has landed on a national award preseason watch list, as Nate Leonard was tabbed a Dave Rimington Trophy (top center in the Football Bowl Subdivision) candidate.

UTSA, 7-5 overall and 6-2 in C-USA play a year ago, will open its 2014 season on Friday, Aug. 29 at Houston. The first-ever game at the brand new TDECU Stadium will kick off at 8 p.m. and be televised nationally on ESPNU.

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This story was republished courtesy of UTSA Athletics.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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