Dec. 15, 2009
Tennessee junior defensive back Eric Berry was named first-team All-America by Sporting News and the Associated Press on Tuesday. The Fairburn, Ga., native's postseason haul also includes the Jim Thorpe Award presented to the nation's best defensive back and All-America honors from the AFCA, FWAA and Walter Camp Football Foundation.
The NCAA recognizes those five organizations in determining its consensus and unanimous All-America honorees. Already a consensus selection, Berry's recognition Tuesday makes him just the second player in program history to earn unanimous All-America honors twice in his career. Guard Chip Kell was a unanimous selection in 1969 and 1970.
Berry finished the 2009 regular season second on the team and second among SEC defensive backs with 83 tackles, including six for lost yardage. He led the team in passes defensed with nine, posted two interceptions and returned two fumbles for 48 yards.
He was also an All-SEC selection by both league coaches and the Associated Press.
Berry was a unanimous All-America selection, a Jim Thorpe finalist and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last season.
Having already caught the eye of NFL teams, Berry could be playing his last collegiate game when the Vols take on Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.