The annual college football awards were announced on Thursday and Texas Longhorns safety DeShon Elliott fell just short of winning the Jim Thorpe Award, as Alabama cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick earned that honor over Elliott and Iowa cornerback Joshua Jackson
Awarded to the nation’s top defensive back, Elliott finished as a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award after blossoming into an NFL-caliber talent at safety under defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. In his first season as a full-time starter on the Forty Acres, Elliott recorded 63 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, along with six interceptions and nine passes defended. Two of Elliott’s six picks were returned for touchdowns, with one coming in a double-overtime loss against USC and the other in a blowout victory over Baylor.
With Elliot finishing as just a finalist, the Longhorns remain without a Thorpe Award winner for yet another year, as the drought extends to more than a decade with Aaron Ross being the last Texas talent to take home the award in 2006. Michael Huff was named the Jim Thorpe Award winner the year before that in 2005, as well.
If Texas is going to snap that streak next season, it won’t come by way of Elliott, who has announced his intent to forgo his senior season declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. He won’t participate in the Texas Bowl against Missouri.
Elliott’s tenure at Texas concluded with the Rockwall product racking up 105 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, nine interceptions and 13 passes defended throughout the course of 26 games.