Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Iowa sophomore safety Tyler Sash has been the Big Ten's top playmaker on defense this season, and he's starting to get some national recognition.
Sash was among the 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back. Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins won the award last year, though Sash is the lone Big Ten representative still in the running.
The Hawkeyes safety leads the Big Ten in interceptions for the second consecutive season, but he has proven to be much more than a center fielder this fall. Sash is tied for 15th in the league in tackles (7.1 tpg) and ranks second in passes defended with 11. He also has two forced fumbles and 5.5 tackles for loss, and he made one of the more exciting interceptions you'll ever see last Saturday against Indiana.
The Thorpe Award will name three finalists on Nov. 23, and the winner will be announced Dec. 10 during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show.
It was disappointing not to see Ohio State safety Kurt Coleman on the list of semifinalists. Coleman has recorded three forced fumbles, three interceptions, a fumble recovery and 53 tackles for the Buckeyes. He's one of the leaders for the nation's sixth-ranked defense.
Michigan cornerback Donovan Warren also would have been a good selection.