Junior safety Chip Thompson
Oct. 2, 2012
DALLAS - East Carolina junior safety Chip Thompson has been named the Football Writers Association of America/Bronco Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for the games of the weekend on Sept. 29, according to an announcement from the organization Tuesday.
Thompson recorded a pair of fourth quarter interceptions that he returned for 24 yards and tallied eight tackles in East Carolina's 28-18 win over conference rival UTEP last weekend.
His first interception, one of four turnovers caused by the Pirates' defense against the Miners, came early in the fourth quarter with UTEP inside the ECU 20-yard line with11:16 remaining in the game. He picked off his second pass of the game and of the season later in the quarter when he stepped in front of a Nick Lamaison throw at the UTEP 45 and returned it for 22 yards with 4:54 left. The ensuing play resulted in a Vintavious Cooper 24-yard rumble for a score that gave the Pirates a 28-10 lead in the eventual victory.
Thompson had a balanced performance at his safety position for the Pirates with eight tackles (four solo) and a pass breakup. Of his eight tackles, seven came in the first half.
Following his two interceptions against UTEP, Thompson has now had a hand in three turnovers this season after starting his ECU career with a 45-yard fumble return touchdown against Appalachian State in the first week of action.
The Hinds Community College transfer, who has started four of the team's five games, is currently second among all defensive backs on the squad with 18 tackles.
The Jackson, Miss. native will be added to the 2012 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. Five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy will be announced by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) on Nov. 15. The winner will be revealed on Dec. 3 during a banquet that the Charlotte Touchdown Club sponsors at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.
The Bronco Nagurski Award is given in memory of the legendary All-American lineman/fullback at Minnesota (1927-29).
The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate and professional football in the Charlotte region.
The FWAA, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all areas that involve the game.
Thompson and the Pirates head to Orlando, Fla. this week to take on fellow Conference USA rival Central Florida in an 8:00 p.m. game at Bright House Networks Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 4.