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Baylor Football

Jalen Pitre one of three finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award

November 23, 2021

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Baylor football senior Jalen Pitre has been named a finalist for the 2021 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, as announced Tuesday morning by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

The award recognizes the best defensive back in college football, based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character.

Pitre is the nation’s only player with at least three fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and two interceptions. Through 11 games in 2021, he has collected 57 total tackles, 45 solo, with a Big 12-leading 15.0 tackles for loss. Additionally, he has recorded two sacks and five pass breakups.

The Stafford, Texas, native ranks among the nation’s best in fumble recoveries (3, t-2nd) and TFL’s (15.0, t-9th), while placing 26th in the Big 12 with 5.2 tackles per game. He is one of just 17 Big 12 players with at least two INT’s this season. The senior has excelled in Dave Aranda’s STAR position, a hybrid safety/linebacker with freedom to disrupt plays in the backfield, collecting a tackle for loss in 10 of 11 games this season and 20 of his last 23 career games.

Academically, Pitre graduated from Baylor in August 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in business. Earlier this season, he earned a spot on the 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team and was previously named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team for the 2020-21 year. Now, Pitre is nearing completion of his master’s degree in education psychology.

This year’s Thorpe Award recipient will be selected by the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award National Selection Committee, which includes members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), an Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in-house award committee, former Paycom Jim Thorpe Award recipients, as well as sportswriters and college football journalists throughout the country.

The winner will be announced on Dec. 9 at ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards Show. The official presentation of the award takes place in Oklahoma City, with the current winner and all former recipients invited to celebrate on Feb. 8, 2022.

For the latest news on the Baylor football team all season long, follow its official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts: @BUFootball.


Coby Bryant, Cincinnati, Sr.

Verone McKinley III, Oregon, So.

Jalen Pitre, Baylor, Sr.

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