One of Mississippi State's greatest football players ever was able to add a little more hardware to his trophy case tonight, as MSU defensive back Johnthan Banks took home the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award.
The Thorpe Award, given annually to college football's best defensive back, came down to Banks, Alabama's Dee Milliner, and Fresno State's Phillip Thomas, and in the end the award went to the Senior All-American from just down the road in Maben (not Maden, ESPN), Mississippi.
I can't say enough how happy I am for Banks: he truly has earned this award. I got a chance to watch Banks play at East Webster in his Junior year in the playoffs, and he easily stood out on the field. Johnthan came to Starkville a sparsely recruited athlete from East Webster, and in four seasons has become the nation's best defensive back. Bravo Johnthan, bravo Dan Mullen, and especially, bravo, Matt Balis. Banks has developed into the best cover corner in the country, and will no doubt be rewarded for his hard work and talent next spring in the 2013 NFL draft. We certainly wish him all the best in the future, and thank him for all that he has done for State.
Banks becomes the fourth SEC player in a row to win the prestigious award, following LSU's Morris Claiborne in 2011, Patrick Peterson in 2010, and Tennessee's Eric Berry in 2009.
He becomes the first player in MSU history to win the award. Oh, and Banks also added to his big award tonight a place on the Walter Camp first team All-American team. /brushes shoulder off for him