breaking: Joe Biden predicts Democratic convention delay until AugustLive updates: Oklahoma coronavirus cases now 879; 34 dead

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Jim Thorpe Award: LSU's Grant Delpit comes full circle with win over friend CeeDee Lamb, national championship in hometown

LSU's Grant Delpit takes on a physical therapy plank challenge while he visits with patients at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center's Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation center on Tuesday. Delpit was in Oklahoma City to receive the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top college defensive back. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]
LSU's Grant Delpit takes on a physical therapy plank challenge while he visits with patients at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center's Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation center on Tuesday. Delpit was in Oklahoma City to receive the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top college defensive back. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

For three years, Grant Delpit and CeeDee Lamb did not lose a football game — together.

The Fort Bend Express, a premier youth football team in the Houston area, was unstoppable a decade ago.

Lamb was primarily a running back then. Delpit, still growing at just 5-foot-5, was starting to blossom into a big-time defensive back.

Seven years later, the two childhood teammates were rivals in the College Football Playoff semifinal. Lamb a receiver at Oklahoma. Delpit a safety at LSU.

Friends became opponents.

“We’re ultra-competitors,” Delpit said. “We definitely wanted to get matched up.”

The matchup didn't really happen.

But Delpit accepted the Jim Thorpe Award — presented annually by Paycom to the nation’s top defensive back — on Tuesday night just north of the program his childhood friend and teammate starred. It was just a little more than a month ago that Delpit’s Tigers beat the Sooners.

“Everybody keeps on telling me that,” Delpit said about breaking the Sooners’ hearts. “I remember our offense putting up a lot of points. I was glad it was the offense doing it. I wouldn’t want to play against them.”

Delpit took a circuitous journey to the national championship with LSU.

He grew up in New Orleans — even ran up and down the tunnels of the Superdome when he was 2 with dreams of playing for the Saints — before being forced to move to Houston due to Hurricane Katrina.

It was there that Delpit and Lamb — also displaced by the hurricane — became Little League teammates. That continued through middle school with the Express. Once in high school, they went different ways. Lamb went to Foster High in Houston. Delpit went to Lamar High until his senior year, when he moved to IMG Academy in Florida.

Both quickly became stars in college football.

“I don’t think we ever thought we’d be where we’re at,” Delpit said. “He was always the best on our team. When we played Little League together, I don’t think we lost for three years. That was pretty cool.”

Delpit had perhaps his best season in 2018, totaling 74 tackles, five interceptions, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and 14 pass deflections. This season, he battled through multiple injuries to gather 65 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

And life became grand.

Delpit became the best defensive back in the country. He beat a childhood friend. He won the national championship in the stadium he always dreamed of playing in as a kid.

“That was very cool,” Delpit said. “Coming back full circle to win the championship, nobody could ask for a better story.”

Related Photos
<strong>LSU defensive back Grant Delpit signs an autograph as he talks with patient Wanda Brinsfield at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center's Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation center in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Delpit visited with patients before accepting the Jim Thorpe Award in the evening. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]</strong>

LSU defensive back Grant Delpit signs an autograph as he talks with patient Wanda Brinsfield at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center's Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation center in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Delpit visited with patients before accepting the Jim Thorpe Award in the evening. [Chris...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4f4b9eb80204fb628d9dc7ef39fde1aa.jpg" alt="Photo - LSU defensive back Grant Delpit signs an autograph as he talks with patient Wanda Brinsfield at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center's Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation center in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Delpit visited with patients before accepting the Jim Thorpe Award in the evening. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title=" LSU defensive back Grant Delpit signs an autograph as he talks with patient Wanda Brinsfield at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center's Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation center in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Delpit visited with patients before accepting the Jim Thorpe Award in the evening. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> LSU defensive back Grant Delpit signs an autograph as he talks with patient Wanda Brinsfield at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center's Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation center in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Delpit visited with patients before accepting the Jim Thorpe Award in the evening. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-00504086c40cce5ae9b26d6059dd40e2.jpg" alt="Photo - LSU's Grant Delpit takes on a physical therapy plank challenge while he visits with patients at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center's Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation center on Tuesday. Delpit was in Oklahoma City to receive the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top college defensive back. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title=" LSU's Grant Delpit takes on a physical therapy plank challenge while he visits with patients at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center's Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation center on Tuesday. Delpit was in Oklahoma City to receive the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top college defensive back. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> LSU's Grant Delpit takes on a physical therapy plank challenge while he visits with patients at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center's Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation center on Tuesday. Delpit was in Oklahoma City to receive the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top college defensive back. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Jacob Unruh

Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the... Read more ›

Comments