Forbes Named Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist

Published 3:36 pm Monday, October 24, 2022

STARKVILLE – Mississippi State junior cornerback Emmanuel Forbes is one of 12 semifinalists for the 2022 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, which is awarded annually to the best defensive back in college football. The award is based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character.

The dozen semifinalists on this year’s list represent six conferences with the SEC leading the way with four selections.

Forbes has five interceptions through eight games this season, which is tied for the most in the nation and the second-most in MSU single-season history. He recently tied the SEC record with his fifth career pick-six on a 59-yard return at Kentucky.

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The junior has 13 career interceptions, which leads the nation since 2020 and is the most among active SEC players. Forbes’ 13 picks currently rank third nationally among active players, while he is ranked fourth in MSU history in that category. Forbes leads the Bulldog defense with six pass breakups, while he has 24 total tackles on the campaign, including 15 solo stops.

The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Selection Committee will reconvene on the Sunday following Thanksgiving to select three award finalists. The award finalists will be announced as part of a special presentation by ESPN on Tuesday, November 29th. The award recipient is selected from the three finalists by the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award National Selection Committee, which boasts members of the NCFAA, an Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in-house award committee, former Paycom Jim Thorpe Award recipients, and sportswriters and college football journalists throughout the country.

The winner will be announced Thursday, Dec. 8, live on The Home Depot College Football Awards. Other recognized National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) awards announced include the Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award, Mackey Award, Rimington Trophy, Lou Groza Award, Ray Guy Award, Bronko Nagurski Award, Outland Trophy, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award, Biletnikoff Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Doak Walker Award and Walter Camp Award.

The official presentation of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award takes place in Oklahoma City, following ESPN’s live presentation of The Home Depot College Football Awards. The current winner and all former winners are invited each year to celebrate. Over 600 supporters attend the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet each year, including many celebrities and dignitaries. The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award commemorative banquet, including the first annual presentation of the newly founded Aeneas Williams Award, is scheduled to be held Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Oklahoma City.

Forbes and the Bulldogs return to action on Saturday, Nov. 5, against Auburn at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

For more information on the Bulldog football program, visit, or search for “HailStateFB” on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.