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Berry Wins 2009 Jim Thorpe Award; Named Walter Camp All-America
Eric Berry poses with the Jim Thorpe Award trophy during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards at the Disney Boardwalk on December 10, 2009 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Eric Berry poses with the Jim Thorpe Award trophy during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards at the Disney Boardwalk on December 10, 2009 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Dec. 10, 2009


ORLANDO, Fla. - Tennessee safety Eric Berry was named the 2009 Jim Thorpe Award winner here Thursday night during the ESPNU Home Depot Awards Show.

The presentation in front of a nationally televised audience took place at Disney World's Atlantic Dance Hall and was Berry's second straight trip as a finalist at this event.

"I'm very pleased and very excited," said Berry. "I was kind of shocked, but I try not to get too worked up about how things turn out. This was a fun night."

The Fairburn, Ga., junior was named this year's top defensive back in major college football by the Oklahoma City-based Jim Thorpe Association. Berry was selected ahead of junior Joe Haden of Florida and sophomore Earl Thomas of Texas.

"I want to thank my teammates for always motivating me, and I definitely want to thank the coaching staff for pushing us to be the best we could be," added Berry.

Berry also earned All-America status from the Walter Camp Football Foundation for the second year in a row. The 2009 team was announced as part of the ESPNU Home Depot Awards Show.

He is the second Tennessee player (OL Chip Kelly, 1969 and 1970) to repeat as a First Team All-America.

Berry already had been named to this year's American Football Coaches Association All-America squad, and this week was selected to both the coaches and writers All-SEC teams.

Thursday's awards program was the second of three Berry is attending this week. Monday, he was in Charlotte as a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award honoring the nation's top defensive player. This weekend, Berry travels to Newport Beach, Calif., as a finalist for the Lott Award, also presented to the top defensive player.

Eric Berry signs autographs for fans as he arrives for the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards in Lake Buena Vista , Fla.

Berry enters the Chick-fil-A Bowl in his home city of Atlanta second on the Tennessee team and third among SEC defensive backs with 83 tackles. He leads the team with 18 defensive big plays, which includes seven pass breakups, six tackles for loss (for minus-15 yards), two fumble returns (for 48 yards), two interceptions (for seven yards) and a forced fumble.

Berry is the active NCAA leader and stands second in NCAA history with 494 interception return yards. He is third nationally among active NCAA players with 14 career interceptions, fifth in UT history in interceptions and sixth in total passes defensed.

2009 Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America Teams
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
WR Jordan Shipley Texas Sr. 6-0 190 Burnet, TX
WR Golden Tate Notre Dame Jr. 5-11 195 Hendersonville, TN
TE Dennis PittaBYU Sr. 6-5 247 Moorpark, CA
OL Russell Okung Oklahoma State Sr. 6-5 300 Houston, TX
OL Mike Iupati Idaho Sr. 6-6 330 Anaheim, CA
OL Mike Johnson Alabama Sr. 6-6 305 Pensacola, FL
OL Trent WilliamsOklahoma Sr. 6-5 318 Longview, TX
C Maurkice Pouncey Florida Sr. 6-5 320 Lakeland, FL
QB Colt McCoy Texas# Sr. 6-2 210 Tuscola, TX
RB Toby Gerhart Stanford Sr. 6-1 235 Norco, CA
RB Mark Ingram Alabama So. 5-10 215 Flint, MI
PK Kai Forbath UCLA Jr. 6-0 192 Pacific Palisades, CA
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL Ndamukong Suh Nebraska Sr. 6-4 300 Portland, OR
DL Jerry Hughes TCU# Sr. 6-4 257 Sugar Land, TX
DL Terrence CodyAlabama% Sr. 6-5 365 Fort Myers, FL
DL Gerald McCoyOklahoma Jr. 6-4 297 Oklahoma City, OK
LB Rolando McClainAlabama Jr. 6-4 258 Decatur, AL
LB Eric NorwoodSouth Carolina Sr. 6-1 252 Acworth, GA
LB Brandon SpikesFlorida# Sr. 6-3 258 Shelby, NC
DB Eric BerryTennessee# Jr. 5-11 203 Fairburn, GA
DB Taylor MaysUSC# Sr. 6-3 230 Seattle, WA
DB Earl ThomasTexas So. 5-10 197 Orange, TX
DB Joe HadenFlorida Jr. 5-11 190 Fort Washington, MD
P Drew ButlerGeorgia So. 6-2 203 Duluth, GA
KR C.J. SpillerClemson Sr. 5-11 195 Lake Butler, FL
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
WR Damario AlexanderMissouri Sr. 6-5 215 Marlin, TX
WR Freddie BarnesBowling Green Sr. 6-0 206 Chicago Heights, IL
TE Dorin DickersonPittsburgh Sr. 6-2 230 Imperial, PA
OL Bryan BulagaIowa Jr. 6-6 312 Crystal Lake, IL
OL Zane BeadlesUtah Sr. 6-4 305 Sandy, Utah
OL Anthony DavisRutgers Jr. 6-6 325 Piscataway, NJ
OL Ciron BlackLSU Sr. 6-5 322 Tyler, TX
C Matt TennantBoston College Sr. 6-4 291 Cincinnati, OH
QB Tim TebowFlorida*% Sr. 6-3 245 Jacksonville, FL
QB Case KeenumHouston Jr. 6-2 210 Abilene, TX
RB C.J. SpillerClemson Sr. 5-11 195 Lake Butler, FL
RB Jacquizz RogersOregon State So. 5-7 191 Richmond, TX
PK Leigh TiffinAlabama Sr. 6-2 212 Muscle Shoals, AL
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL Derrick MorganGeorgia Tech Jr. 6-4 272 Coatesville, PA
DL Von MillerTexas A&M Jr. 6-3 240 DeSoto, TX
DL Brandon GrahamMichigan Sr. 6-2 263 Detroit, MI
DL Brian PriceUCLA Jr. 6-2 300 South Central LA, CA
LB Greg JonesMichigan State Jr. 6-1 228 Cincinnati, OH
LB Pat AngererIowa Sr. 6-1 235 Bettendorf, IA
LB Sean WeatherspoonMissouri% Sr. 6-2 245 Jasper, TX
DB Rahim MooreUCLA So. 6-1 197 Los Angeles, CA
DB Kyle WilsonBoise State Sr. 5-10 186 Piscataway, NJ
DB Javier ArenasAlabama Sr. 5-9 198 Tampa, FL
P Zolton MeskoMichigan Sr. 6-5 231 Twinsburg, OH
KR Chris OwusuStanford So. 6-2 201 Westlake Village, CA
# - 2008 Walter Camp First Team All-American
% - 2008 Walter Camp Second Team All-American
* - 2007 Walter Camp First Team All-American

 

 

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