Berry is Lott Player of Week

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Tennessee's sensational sophomore Safety Eric Berry has been named the winner of The Lott Trophy IMPACT Player of the Week presented by Wachovia.

Eric Berry (5-11, 195, Fairburn, Ga.) had a career high 10 tackles, including one sack and his fifth interception of the season, returning it 72 yards for a touchdown, in the Volunteers' 34-3 win over Mississippi State. Berry now has 397 yards in interception return yards, breaking a 60-year Southeastern Conference record.

Tennessee will receive $1,000 for its general scholarship fund in recognition of Berry's performance.

Berry was selected by The Legends Football Coaches Association. Former Georgia Coach Vince Dooley, a member of the Legends Coaches, said, "Eric Berry played a heck of a game against Mississippi State. His fourth quarter interception that he ran back for a touchdown not only broke the game open, but it so rattled the Mississippi State quarterback that he threw another interception for a touchdown three plays later."

Tennessee Coach Philip Fulmer said, "When you put him (Berry) in the category of players here at other positions, he's in the Peyton Manning or Jamal Lewis category."

Berry, who leads the country in interceptions, also was selected Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

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 fifth 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 in Newport Beach, 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 California 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 the Legends Coaches, a distinguished group of former head college coaches.

Other players receiving consideration from the Legends Coaches this week were Malcolm Jenkins and James Laurinaitis of Ohio State, Mark Herzlich of Boston College and Scott McKillop of Pittsburgh.

The 2008 Lott Trophy IMPACT Players of the Week

Week I – Alterraun Verner, CB, UCLA

Week II – Zack Follett, LB, California

Week III – George Selvie, DE, South Florida

Week IV – Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest

Week V – Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas

Week VI – Scott McKillop, LB, Pittsburgh

Week VII - Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas

Week VIII – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

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