Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 8, 2010
Sen. Debbe Leftwich poses with 2009 Jim Thorpe Award recipient Eric
2009 Jim Thorpe Award winner Eric Berry addresses the State Senate
Sen. Debbe Leftwich.
2009 Jim Thorpe Winner Honored in Senate
The Oklahoma State Senate honored the 2009 Jim Thorpe Award winner
Eric Berry Monday. The Senate unanimously approved Senate Resolution
81 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, recognizing and commending the standout
safety from the University of Tennessee.
“Eric is a tremendous young man of great character whose talents
and accomplishments are obvious both on and off the field,”
said Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City. “He has a great future ahead
of him, and we wish him the best as he enters the National Football
League draft this year.”
Berry won in the most one-sided vote in the history of the Jim Thorpe
award. He currently leads all NCAA players in total interceptions,
interceptions per game, interception return yards, and interceptions
returned for touchdowns. After the reading of the resolution, Berry
addressed the Senate.
“I want to start off by telling everyone how much I appreciate
this. It’s truly an honor for you to welcome me into your
state,” said Berry. “It’s a blessing to receive
this. I also want to thank you for the hospitality and everything
you’ve given me and my family.”
As a freshman in college, he intercepted five passes for 222 yards
and was a unanimous Freshman All-American, the SEC Freshman Defensive
Player of the Year, and was on the All-SEC Freshman Academic Honor
As a sophomore, he was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year in
2008 and a Consensus All-American. He intercepted seven passes for
During his junior year, he had two interceptions, 83 tackles, and
two fumble returns. He was selected as the Volunteers’ Team
Captain and was also named to Rivals.com Team of the Decade and
to the Sports Illustrated 2000’s All-Decade Team.
Berry’s talents were apparent even in high school where he
played cornerback and quarterback for Creekside High School in his
hometown of Fairburn, Georgia and was named a Parade All-America.
The National Honor Society member also excelled in track, setting
school records in the long jump, was state champion in the 200-meter,
and anchored the state title 4x400 relay squad.
After the presentation, Senate Majority Floor Leader encouraged
members to attend the Jim Thorpe ceremony and applauded the Jim
Thorpe Association for shining a spotlight on such outstanding student-athletes
as Eric Berry.
“Every year, I’ve gone (to the ceremony) I’ve
regretted not taking my son because the Jim Thorpe Association does
an incredible job of finding not just talent on the field but men
of character and morality and an example we want our sons to emulate
and our daughters to find in the future,” said Lamb, R-Edmond.
For more information contact:
Sen. Leftwich: 405-521-5557