CLEVELAND, Ohio. – Washington State senior cornerback Damante Horton picked up another weekly honor, being named the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week, the Jim Thorpe Association announced Wednesday.
The Jim Thorpe Award is presented to the nation’s top defensive back following each season.
Monday, Horton was named the Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week, National Defensive Player of the Week by Athlon Sports and National Defensive Back of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards following his two-interception performance in last Saturday’s win at No. 25 USC.
Horton (5-10, 175) led a spirited defensive effort by the Cougars in their 10-7 upset win over No. 25/22 USC in Los Angeles. Trailing 7-0 late in the first half, Horton picked off a Cody Kessler pass and raced 70 yards for the touchdown, tying the game at 7-7. It marked Horton’s second career interception return for a touchdown, the first coming at Oregon in 2011. Horton then sealed WSU’s victory by stepping in front of a Max Wittek pass with just over two minutes remaining in the game, ending the USC comeback attempt and giving the Cougars their first win over a ranked team since the 2006 season, when they defeated No. No. 16 Oregon, 34-23. It was WSU’s first win over USC since 2002 and first win over the Trojans in Los Angeles since 2000.
Throughout the game Horton led the WSU secondary that held All-American receiver Marquis Lee in check, limiting Lee to seven catches for only 27 yards. Horton ended the game with two interceptions for 75 return yards. He added four tackles, including a career-best two tackles-for-loss for a combined 12 yards.
The Oakland, Calif. native was also named the National Defensive Player of the Week by Athlon Sports and National Defensive Back of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.
Athlon Sports also recognized WSU Defensive Coordinator Mike Breske as its Pac-12 Coordinator of the Week after the team's performance on Saturday.
It is the first career weekly accolade for Horton and the first for WSU since Andrew Furney earned the special teams weekly honor following last season’s Apple Cup victory.
This week the Cougars host Southern Utah as part of Hall of Fame Weekend. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks with a 3:30 p.m. start.