Church and Fryar Named to Thorpe Watch List Print E-mail
Written by Dave Ruthenberg   
Tuesday, July 08 2008
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Toledo DB Barry Church Breaks Up Pass Against Kansas/Photo: Paul Nelson
A pair of Mid-American Conference defensive backs, Toledo junior Barry Church and Western Michigan senior Londen Fryar, have been named to the preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate defensive back.

A total of 40 candidates have been named to the initial preseason "watch list" by the Jim Thorpe Association. The preseason list of candidates is determined by an analysis of several pre-season All-American teams and more players could be added to the list as the season gets underway. The award is named after NFL Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe.
Making the initial list of candidates from the MAC are a pair of first-team All-MAC performers from last season.
Toledo junior free safety Barry Church recorded 92 tackles and three interceptions last season and has been a starter since his freshman year, earning first-team All-MAC honors in both 2006 and 2007. Over the course of his career, Church has recorded seven interceptions and 163 tackles, including a career single-game high of 19 tackles against Iowa State last season.
Joining Church on this year's Thorpe Award watch list is Western Michigan senior Londen Fryar who recorded 63 tackles in 2007 and set a school and MAC record with six pass breakups in a game against Akron last season. Fryar's 16 pass breakups on the season led the conference and also represented the second highest total in Western Michigan history.
Both Church and Fryar were named earlier to MAC Report Online's preseason All-MAC squad.
The list of candidates will be narrowed to 10-12 semifinalists in early November and then three finalists will be named by the "screening committee" in late November with the winner being announced in December during the ESPN/Home Depot College Football Awards Show.
Available Now - MAC Report's 2008 MAC Football Preview e-magazine, featuring the most in-depth analysis and feature-packed preseason MAC football publication ever published. Get your copy today by clicking here.

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