2009 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Winner Eric Berry, University of Tennessee
PAYCOM JIM THORPE AWARD
Eric Berry won the 2009 Jim Thorpe Award as a junior safety at the University of Tennessee. He was a unanimous All-American twice (2008, 2009) and a finalist for the Bronco Nagurski and Ronnie Lott awards for best defensive player. He was named to Rivals.com Team of the Decade and to the Sports Illustrated 2000s All-Decade Team. As a sophomore, he was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, a 2008 unanimous All-American and a Thorpe Award finalist. In 2007, he was a unanimous Freshman All-American, the SEC Freshman Defensive Player of the Year, and made the All-SEC Freshmen Academic Honor Roll. Berry was drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft with the fifth overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. In his rookie season, he led the team in interceptions (4) and solo tackles (77). He became the first Chiefs rookie to be selected to the Pro Bowl since linebacker great, Derrick Thomas. During the 2008 season at Tennessee, Berry lined up on the offensive (quarterback, wide receiver), and defensive (safety) side of the ball, as well as special teams (kickoff returns).