Berry makes Lott watch list

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry is among 42 of the nation's top collegiate defensive players who have been named to the 2008 Lott Trophy Watch List, it was announced Friday.

Berry is a 5-11, 195-pound sophomore from Fairburn, Ga. He led all Southeastern Conference freshmen in tackles last season with 86 and added a team-high five interceptions for 222 return yards. That return total was a school record and the second highest figure in SEC history. An aspiring dentist, Berry was a member of the national honor society in high school.

There are seven repeat nominees for the award, including James Laurinaitis of Ohio State, a finalist last year. The other players nominated for a second straight year are Jonathan Casillas of Wisconsin, Maurice Crum Jr. of Notre Dame, Brian Cushing of Southern California, Zack Follett of California, Nic Harris of Oklahoma and Darryl Richard of Georgia Tech.

Thirty-five different schools are represented on the Watch List.

Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, the Lott Trophy is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its fourth year, the Lott Trophy is the first college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.

Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the award is given to a player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

David Pollack of Georgia won the initial Lott Trophy in 2004. DeMeco Ryans of Alabama won the award in 2005 Daymeion Hughes of Cal was the recipient in 2006 and Glenn Dorsey of LSU in 2007. Georgia, Alabama, Cal and LSU each received $25,000 for their general scholarship funds. In four years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has donated more than $450,000 to various charities, including the four universities.

Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The IMPACT Foundation Board of Advisers comprised of many retired NFL players and Master Coaches, a distinguished group of former head college coaches.

The winner is announced at a gala black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach on Dec. 14, 2008.

For further information on the Lott Trophy, please visit our website at

Other SEC players on the 2008 Lott Trophy Watch List: Asher Allen, Georgia; Jeremy Jarmon, Kentucky; Eric Norwood, South Carolina; Jeff Owens, Georgia; Kirston Pittman, LSU; Brandon Spikes, Florida.

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