Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February
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
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 Roll.
As a sophomore, he was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2008
and a Consensus All-American. He intercepted seven passes for 265 yards.
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