Friday, December 11, 2009

Eric Berry Named Jim Thorpe Award Winner

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry was named winner of the 2009 Jim Thorpe Award during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show Thursday night at the Walt Disney World Resourt.

The announcement was made by Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. The official presentation will take place at a banquet February 8, 2010, in Oklahoma City.

As a sophomore last year, Berry was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, a consensus First Team All-American and a finalist for the 2008 Jim Thorpe Award. This year, he again is a consensus First Team All-American and winner of the Thorpe Award over Florida's Joe Haden and Texas' Earl Thomas.

The 2009 award marks the 23rd anniversary of the trophy, first presented in 1986 to Baylor’s Thomas Everett. Last year’s winner was Ohio State University’s Malcolm Jenkins, now playing for the New Orleans Saints.

Thorpe Award winners are selected for performance on the field, athletic ability and character.

The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official Web site,

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Olivier,